Babar Azam resigns as Pakistan captain in all formats

Babar Azam looks on
Babar Azam first led Pakistan in T20 cricket in 2019

Babar Azam has resigned as Pakistan captain in all three formats following their failure to reach the World Cup semi-finals.

The 29-year-old batter first led in white-ball cricket in 2019 and took over as Test skipper in 2021.

He leaves after Pakistan finished fifth at the World Cup, winning four and losing five of their nine games.

"It is a difficult decision, but I feel it is a right time," he said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

"I vividly remember the moment I received the call to lead Pakistan. 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.

"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."

Under Babar, Pakistan won 10 out of 20 Tests, but were beaten 3-0 at home by England last December, the first time they have suffered such a loss on home soil.

They reached number one in the world one-day international rankings in August and also made the final of last year's T20 World Cup, where they were beaten by England.

After they were knocked out of the World Cup in India, Pakistan team director Mickey Arthur said he would get behind Babar.

"He is a young and someone I am close to. He needs to be taken on a journey with and shown the ropes," said Arthur.

"He's learning every day. We know he's a fine batter and he learns every day with his captaincy.

"He's growing and we must allow him the time to do that. It's not a crime to make mistakes as long as you learn from them."

Pakistan are now looking for a captain for their tour of Australia next month. The first match in a three-Test series begins on 14 December.

'Babar was expected to deliver'

Test Match Special commentator Aatif Nawaz

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how good a player you are. You can be the best player of your generation. Results are results. And with a team as strong and talented as Pakistan, the expectation will always be high.

Semi-finals and finals are just not enough, you're expected to deliver silverware and that's where Babar has failed.

It's possible that like other great batters of their generation, Babar's greatest successes will come now, without the burden, expectation and endless scrutiny of being the Pakistan captain.

It's seemed to work for Joe Root, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.