In a surprising turn of events, Shaheen Afridi has rejected the offer to serve as the vice-captain of Pakistan’s T20 side ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup. Despite being suggested for the role by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee, Shaheen turned down the opportunity to be Babar Azam’s deputy.

The World Cup squad announcement notably lacked an official vice-captain, highlighting the ongoing tensions within the team. Shaheen, who was previously stripped of the T20 captaincy after just one series, has expressed lingering dissatisfaction over the unclear reasons for his dismissal. The incident has left him feeling deeply affected and skeptical about taking on another leadership role.

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi had hinted at Shaheen’s replacement back in March, leading to further strain in their relationship. The situation escalated when the PCB released a statement with remarks attributed to Shaheen that supported Babar, remarks which Shaheen later denied making. Feeling betrayed, Shaheen’s trust in the PCB was further eroded.

In an effort to address the issue, Naqvi visited the players during a military training camp, resulting in an uneasy truce. However, Shaheen’s rejection of the vice-captaincy underscores the unresolved tension.

Despite this, Shaheen remains a key figure in the T20 side’s core leadership group, asserting that he does not require an official title to contribute effectively. The PCB selection committee considered other candidates for the vice-captaincy, including Shadab Khan and Mohammad Rizwan. However, Shadab’s struggle with form and a preference for a younger player led to the decision not to announce a vice-captain.

Ultimately, six of the seven committee members agreed on this approach, reflecting a consensus to maintain flexibility and address internal dynamics as the team heads into the World Cup.

Also, see:

Pakistan’s T20 World Cup 2024 Squad Unveiled

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