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“Give him time,” Shahid backs Shaheen Afridi as T20 captain

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KARACHI: Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has come out in support of Shaheen Shah Afridi amid uncertainty surrounding his future as the T20I captain of the national cricket team.

Shaheen succeeded Babar Azam as the T20I captain of the national team, following their dismal campaign at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

But the left-arm pacer had an unwanted start to his captaincy reign, which started with a five-match away series against New Zealand in January this year.

Pakistan succumbed to a 4-1 series defeat and Shaheen’s future as a captain straightaway came under scrutiny.

Things worsened for the 23-year-old in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine as two-time champions Lahore Qalandars, under his captaincy, managed to win only one out of 10 matches and finished at the bottom of the table.

The Qalandars’ disastrous PSL 9 campaign ignited speculations that Shaheen Afridi may get replaced as the T20I skipper.

Meanwhile, the newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Mohsin Naqvi addressed the ongoing captaincy saga and revealed that the new selection committee would decide regarding the national team’s leadership.

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On the contrary, former chief selector Shahid Afridi threw his weight behind Shaheen and stated that a captain should be given ample time to prove his mettle.

“I think that if you have appointed someone as captain (Shaheen) and given him the responsibility then give him time as well,” Afridi told the media on Tuesday.

“If you change the captain then either the decision to appoint him was wrong or the decision to change him now is wrong,” he added.

Commenting on the retirement reversals by Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir, Shahid Afridi advised the duo to prove their fitness in the ongoing camp at Kakul, Abbottabad and also to prioritize domestic cricket.

“In my opinion, their decision to retire was not right. They had enough cricket left in them and obviously, the thrill to play for Pakistan is nowhere else,” said Afridi.

“They both are talented but firstly, they have to show their fitness and then become a part of the domestic circuit because Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir are such senior and experienced players that their presence in the dressing room would benefit our youngsters,” he added.

READ: ICC delegation meets PCB chief after inspection for Champions Trophy

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