LAHORE: Former Test captain Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed as the Director of the Pakistan Men’s Cricket Team, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced Wednesday.
Hafeez replaced Mickey Arthur after the cricketing body sacked the entire coaching staff including head coach Grant Bradburn and batting coach Andrew Puttick.
“All coaches will continue to work in National Cricket Academy while PCB will announce the new coaching staff in due course for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand,” PCB announced in a statement.
Besides them, former South African pacer Morne Morkel has already stepped down from his position as the bowling coach of the Pakistan Men’s team.
Mohammad Hafeez, who represented Pakistan in 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 119 T20Is, was recently part of the PCB Cricket Technical Committee but resigned from the role, a few days before the ICC World Cup 2023.
Earlier today, the PCB also appointed Shan Masood and Shaheen Shah Afridi as Test and T20I captains respectively.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, the PCB shared the new captains of the national team for the Test and T20I format.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 15, 2023
“Presenting our captains. [Shan Masood] has been appointed Test captain while [Shaheen Shah Afridi] will lead the T20I side,” PCB wrote.
Shan Masood’s first assignment will be a three-match away Test series against Australia, starting on December 14.
Whereas, Shaheen Afridi’s first challenge as the T20I captain will be a five-match series against New Zealand, scheduled for January.
Meanwhile, the PCB will appoint the ODI captain in due course. Notably, Pakistan’s next ODI fixture is scheduled in November 2024 when they tour Australia for a three-match each ODI and T20I series.
The development came after star batter Babar Azam announced to step down as all-format captain following the team’s dismal performance in the ongoing World Cup 2023.
“Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It’s a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call,” the right-handed batter said in a statement issued on X (Formerly Twitter).
— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) November 15, 2023
Babar’s resignation came shortly after he met Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee Chairman Zaka Ashraf at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.
Sources told ARY News that the PCB decided to retain Babar Azam as captain for the upcoming Test series against Australia scheduled to commence on December 14 next month.
The right-hand batter was apprised that the PCB would bring in a new captain for the white-ball format.
However, sources claimed, Babar was not in favour of retaining captaincy for any one format.
It is pertinent to mention here that the star batter was appointed white-ball captain in 2019 and as Test skipper in 2021.
Meanwhile, Babar Azam – in a statement – said that he will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats.
“I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world,” the right-handed batter said.
He pointed out that Pakistan cricket team reached the number 1 spot in the white-ball format due to “collective efforts of players, coaches, and management”.
Azam also expressed gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their “unwavering support during this journey”.
“I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication,” he said, acknowledging PCB for “entrusting me with this significant responsibility”.
Babar Azam’s captaincy and his future in the role came under question following the national team’s below-par performance in the World Cup 2023.