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Sport

Babar named Pakistan test captain, takes charge of all three formats

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Third Test - England v Pakistan - Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - August 24, 2020 Pakistan's Babar Azam in action, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Mike Hewitt/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Pakistan named Babar Azam as their new test captain on Tuesday, putting the batsman in charge of teams across all formats.

Babar replaces Azhar Ali, who led Pakistan to a 1-0 series defeat in England earlier this year.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made the announcement after Babar led the team to Twenty20 and one-day international series victories over Zimbabwe on home soil.

"As we are looking into the future, it is appropriate that we appoint him the captain now so that he continues to grow stronger with every match," PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement here.

“I wish Babar all the best and remain optimistic that he will help Pakistan cricket make an upward movement across all formats not only through his performance but also with his positive attitude and result-oriented approach.”

Babar has been a prolific scorer for Pakistan and currently ranks among the top five batsmen in all three formats.

The 26-year-old’s first assignment as test skipper will be the ICC World Test Championship matches against New Zealand, which will be played in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch from Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 3-7, respectively.

“I feel truly honoured to have been appointed Test captain and join some of the most iconic players who have captained Pakistan in the purist format of the game,” said Babar, who took charge of Pakistan’s limited-overs teams earlier this year.

“I am ready and prepared to take up the additional responsibility and the fact which gives me additional confidence is that I can do the job is the experience that is available to me in the changing room in the shape of the players and support staff.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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