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T20 World Cup: Shaheen Afridi declines offer to become Pakistan vice-captain: Report

25 May, 2024 17:50 IST|Sakshi Post

Birmingham, May 25 (IANS) Left-arm fast-bowler Shaheen Afridi has declined the offer to become the vice-captain of Pakistan for the upcoming 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup, to be held in the West Indies and the USA from June 1.

A report in ESPNCricinfo on Saturday said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee did raise the prospect of Shaheen being named as Babar Azam's deputy for the Men’s T20 World Cup, only for him to reject the offer.

“In the end, the World Cup squad, which was named hours before the ICC deadline to submit the final squad, did not officially have a vice-captain,” it added.

Shaheen had been named as Pakistan’s T20I captain after Babar had stepped down from the role after Pakistan’s league stage exit from the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup in India. But after captaining the side in a five-match T20I tour of New Zealand in January and new PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi taking charge, Babar was soon back as the captain, with Shaheen ousted from the role.

“Though Shaheen had opted to put the matter of being stripped of the T20 captaincy after one series behind him, a sense of injustice continues to linger. The player has never felt the reasons for his dismissal were ever adequately explained to him, and having been unceremoniously dumped from one leadership position, he was understood to not be keen to jump into another,” added the report.

What has also complicated matters was a PCB statement in March, which had Shaheen offering Babar warm words of encouragement on being back as the Pakistan captain. But after some time, it emerged that quotes attributed to Shaheen were never made and Naqvi rushed to the training camp at Kakul to seek a truce with the fast-bowler.

“While Shaheen remained thoroughly unimpressed and betrayed by the manner of his dismissal, an uneasy truce was understood to have been reached. That Shaheen turned down another chance at a leadership position, though, demonstrates how uneasy that truce still is.”

“Shaheen is among the core leadership group of the T20 side, but is understood to feel he does not need to take up an official role delineating it, particularly as the role is a demotion on the position he held just weeks ago,” further said the report.

The report also said names of Shadab Khan and Mohammad Rizwan were discussed as options for Babar's deputy for the mega event. But with Shadab having indifferent form and Rizwan not being a youngster, neither was appointed to the vice-captain role.

Pakistan are currently participating in a T20I series in England, with the second match to be held in Birmingham on Saturday. The 2009 World Cup champions will begin their Men’s T20 World Cup campaign against Group A opponents, co-hosts USA, in Dallas on June 6.

They will then face India in a highly anticipated clash in New York on June 9, followed by facing Canada at the same venue on June 11 and will travel to Lauderhill, Florida, to play against Ireland on June 16 for their last Group A match.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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