Babar Azam has stepped down from his role as the captain of the Pakistan National Cricket Team, the player confirmed via his social channels on Wednesady, November 15, 2023. Babar came under intense scrutiny during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, as Pakistan failed to qualify for the semi-finals from the league stage. The Asian heavyweights finished fifth after nine games, two points adrift of fourth-placed New Zealand. (IND vs NZ Match Blog | Scorecard | Preview | Key Battles)
Babar confirmed his decision via his social media channels:
"I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the past four years, I've experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan's pride and respect in the cricket world." Babar said in a statement announcing his decision. Reaching the No. 1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management but I'd like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey.
"Today, I am stepping down as the captain of Pakistan in all formats. It's a difficult decision but I feel it is a right time for this call. I will continue to represent Pakistan as a player in all three formats. I am here to support the new captain and the team with my experience and dedication. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility."
Babar remains the only captain to take Pakistan to the top spot in the ODI team rankings.