Azhar Ali may lose Pakistan’s Test captaincy when the team tours New Zealand amidst speculations that either white-ball skipper Babar Azam or Muhammad Rizwan could replace him.
Azhar, who is the most Test capped player now in the national team with 81 appearances, is said to have lost favour with a influential member of the cricket committee while the Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman and CEO are also said to be having second thoughts about retaining him as captain.
He was named Test captain last year in October after the sacking of Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain and player from all three formats.
With just 12 months in the job, Azhar saw the Pakistan team lose two-nil in Australia before securing home Test wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Then they travelled to England where the team lost the three-match Test series 0-1.
Wicketkeeper-batsman, Muhammad Rizwan who is riding on a wave of popularity and recently led the KPK team to the National T20 Championship title is said to be favourite to replace Azhar.
PCB CEO Wasim Khan told a television channel that a meeting could be held on November 11 to decide on Azhar’s future and find a new chief selector as head coach, Misbah ul Haq has relinquished the post.
It is not the first time that a captain could lose his job after just a year.
Azhar was captain of the One-day International side for nearly two years after the 2015 World Cup before he decided to resign himself prompting the board asking Sarfaraz to take over as captain in all three formats.