After Babar Azam was appointed as the captain of Pakistan in limited-overs, head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said that he was picked keeping the 2023 Cricket World Cup in mind. Misbah felt Babar will have three years to get groomed before the marquee tournament. Also Read - Babar Azam is Very Close to Being in Same League as Virat Kohli, Steve Smith: Misbah-ul-Haq
“We have kept in mind who can serve us in the long run. We have kept the 2023 World Cup in mind while picking Babar as ODI captain. He is the captain of T20 side, he is a top-class performer and this is the right time to groom him,” Misbah said. Also Read - Babar Azam Plays Down Comparisons With Virat Kohli, Says Looking Forward to T20 World Cup
“He is taking the challenge head on. Since he became our T20 captain his Test performance has also improved. So why not, if he can take responsibility,” said the former Pakistan captain. Also Read - No One Knows Better Than us What it is to Play Without Crowd: Babar Azam
Misbah also spoke of Haider Ali, Mohammad Amir, and Wahab Riaz after the cricketers did not feature in the central contracts.
“The selectors have made the tough decisions to leave out Amir, Hasan and Wahab but considering Hasan missed most of the season due to an injury and Amir and Wahab decided to focus on white-ball cricket, this was the right move,” Misbah said.
Imam-ul-Haq, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Yasir Shah slipped one category each.
On former skipper Sarfaraz, Misbah said: “I feel Sarfaraz can play all three formats. He has been valued. He is not a captain so he has been demoted. But he is very much in our plans. Mohammad Rizwan is there but he will be considered. He is still a valuable player.”