Arjun Bhalla βˆ™ Updated: May 11 2023, 6:36 PM | 2 Min Read

Najam Sethi Defends Babar Azam's 'Non-Selection'; Warns AFG to be at Best Behaviour

image-lf6r11l4AFG vs PAK: Babar and Rizwan weren't included in T20I squad (Twitter)

On Monday afternoon, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the much-awaited T20I squad for the series against Afghanistan. There were many speculations that Pakistan's skipper, Babar Azam, won't be a part of the team, and the assumptions were correct.

The selection committee went against selecting the likes of Babar, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Fakhar Zaman - giving the reigns of the T20I team to their vice-captain, Shadab Khan.

Dropping such big names has caused a huge debacle in Pakistan media, as various renowned entities have questioned PCB's decision, which has caused a conundrum.

Responding to all the queries, PCB's Chairperson, Najam Sethi, attended a press conference where he tried to sweep up all the mess made by the recent team selection.

"I have talked with Babar Azam. I've spoken with (Mohammad) Rizwan, Shaheen (Afridi) and Fakhar (Zaman) about resting them (for the Afghanistan T20Is). And every one of them is happy with our decision," the PCB Chairman mentioned.

Furthermore, he showed utter respect for Babar, saying he is and will be Pakistan's all-format skipper until he calls it quits.

"It isn't any threat towards our captain, Babar Azam; he remains the captain of the Pakistan national squad. The day when Babar says that 'he wants to leave the captain, be it of one format or two or all three formats,' it will be his decision. I am massive respect for him; he's our top star," he added.

Sethi also talked about the decision to name Shabad as the captain of the T20I team.

"I have made Shabad Khan the captain. It has been my decision, not of the selection commitee's. I have consulted with them, but it has been my decision. He has been the vice-captain of the team and getting captiancy has been his right."

The Chairperson concluded the presser by mentioning that the opposition team be at their best behaviour against the arch-rivals after having fuming verbal and physical battles in their last fixture.

The T20I series between Pakistan and hosts Afghanistan will be played in the UAE starting on March 24.