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Pakistan cricket holds crisis talks after Shaheen Afridi denies statement backing captain Babar Azam


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will hold crisis talks on Monday after replaced captain Shaheen Shah Afridi reportedly denied he had made comments backing new skipper Babar Azam that were quoted in a PCB statement.

After dropping Azam as captain over last year’s World Cup flop, the PCB on Sunday reinstated him as white-ball captain, replacing Afridi after less than five months in charge.

The PCB statement said Afridi had “nothing but respect” for the returning skipper.

“I will try to help him on and off the field. We are all one,” Afridi was quoted as saying.

But a source close to Afridi denied he had signed off on the statement that implied a harmonious transfer of the top job. The source added Afridi resented being replaced after being in charge for just one Twenty20 series.

“This is not Shaheen’s statement and he has contacted PCB to clarify this,” the source told AFP.

“Shaheen will meet PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi on Monday to clarify this.”

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The PCB issued a statement confirming that Naqvi, who is also the country’s interior minister, would visit Pakistan team training in Kakul on Monday, without mentioning Afridi.

Fast bowler Afridi led Pakistan to a 4-1 loss in a Twenty20 Series in New Zealand in January.

Afridi also captained Lahore Qalandars as it finished last in the T20 Pakistan Super League that ended two weeks ago.

Pakistan next plays New Zealand in a five-match home Twenty20 series, followed by matches in Ireland and England.

The T20 World Cup takes place in the United States and West Indies in June.



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