Babar Azam set to replace Azhar Ali as Pakistan Test captain for NZ tour

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s Board of Governors on Monday is expected to give its seal of approval to the appointment of Babar Azam as the new Test captain for the upcoming tour of New Zealand replacing Azhar Ali.

“Babar is the unanimous choice to be appointed Test captain and he has had discussions with top officials and given his consent to take up the challenge,” a PCB source said.

The board, which will hold its meeting in Lahore on Monday, is also tipped to have two new members, former men’s captain Shahid Afridi and women’s captain Sana Mir as its new members.

Both the former players will be inducted as independent technocrats, which are positions as laid down in the constitution of the board.

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The PCB confirmed on Sunday the agenda for Monday’s meeting included a review of the report on the national men’s team performances.

A reliable source in the board said that while Chairman Ehsan Mani will seek approval to appoint a new Test captain on Monday, the official announcement should come on November 11, when the board will announce a 35-strong squad for the New Zealand tour.

The PCB source said the board felt that it was time to invest in Babar and this would allow him to learn with time and settle down as long-term captain in all three formats with three World Cups coming up in the next three years, two of them in India.

“The mantra behind wanting to make Babar Test captain is that you make your best player the captain,” the source said.

Azhar, however, will be touring New Zealand for the two Test series.