Pakistan names Rizwan as Vice-Captain of Their T20I Team Ahead of New Zealand Tour

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Shaheen Afridi will lead the side in an upcoming 5-match T20I series in New Zealand From January 12 to 21.

Vishal Singh Jan. 8, 2024

Pakistan on Monday, January 8, confirmed the appointment of Mohammad Rizwan as vice-captain of the men's international T20 team. Rizwan will deputize for captain Shaheen Shah Afridi in the five-match series against New Zealand starting January 12.

Afridi and Rizwan -

Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi has been appointed as the T20I captain after Babar Azam resigned from the all-format captaincy following the team's disastrous defeat in the ODI World Cup tournament in India.

Afridi's men arrived in Auckland ahead of the series opener on Monday, 8 January. The decision to include Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan in the core leadership group was a huge confidence booster for the Pakistan team ahead of the T20 World Cup. Veteran Rizwan has played 85 T20I matches for Pakistan and scored 2797 runs, including 125 runs.

Despite being one of the most experienced players in the team, Rizwan never got the chance to lead the team despite serving as a stand-in captain in T20I cricket. However, Rizwan was extremely important to the team during Babar Azam's captaincy. Babar led the team in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups, reaching the final in 2022, a year after losing to the United Arab Emirates in the semi-finals.

Rizwan's appointment makes strategic sense considering the star pacer's workload, as fast bowler Shaheen will take over the captaincy responsibilities. Pakistan will begin comprehensive preparations for the T20 World Cup, where they will play five consecutive matches against New Zealand. They have named three wicketkeepers - Azam Khan, Haseebullah, and Rizwan, who are likely to play as frontline batsmen.

Pakistan Squad for NZ T20Is:

Shaheen Shah Afridi (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Azam Khan (wicket-keeper), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah (wicket-keeper), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir and Zaman Khan