Pakistan cricket team skipper Babar Azam has announced that he will be stepping down from the captaincy across all formats of the game in the wake of a disappointing World Cup campaign which saw them fail to qualify for the semifinal stage.
Azam, who led from the front, failed to see his team through in several matches that ultimately cost the team after a good start picking up back-to-back wins.
Taking to X, Babar Azam penned an emotional note announcing his decision to step down. He wrote, "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."
Azam reflecting on his highs wrote, "Reaching the number 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."
He further wrote, "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."
However, quashing possibilities of any rumours surrounding his retirement that might arise from the post, Babar Azam wrote, "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," he added.
It may be noted that Babar Azam assumed the captaincy of the ODI side in late 2019 and became the Test captain in 2021. He led Pakistan in two Asia Cups, two T20 World Cups and the 2023 ODI World Cup, but failed to win any major title.