Pakistan’s white-ball captain, Babar Azam, has dispelled rumors of discord with pacer Shaheen Afridi, asserting their strong camaraderie and shared commitment to Pakistan’s success.

In a press conference ahead of the T20I series against New Zealand, Babar Azam expressed surprise at the rumors circulating on social media regarding his rumored rift with Shaheen Afridi.

“I get surprised with the rumours I see on social media. Shaheen and I have a great bonding. Our target is only to play and win matches for our country. Pakistan is our only priority,” Azam stated.

For the unversed, following Azam’s removal as captain across all formats post the ICC World Cup 2023, Shaheen Afridi briefly assumed the role of Pakistan’s T20I skipper. However, Afrdi’s captaincy stint concluded after just one series against New Zealand in January.

With the appointment of Mohsin Naqvi as the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and a revamped selection committee, Babar Azam was reinstated as captain, deemed the ideal leader for the team.

Addressing speculations surrounding his relationship with Shaheen, Babar Azam emphasized their strong bond and singular focus on achieving victories for Pakistan.

Meanwhile, sources close to Afridi reveal a sense of discontent with the PCB’s handling of his captaincy removal, citing communication lapses and a fabricated statement issued in his name.

Pakistan is set to host New Zealand in the opening T20I of the five-match series at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, marking Azam’s return to captaincy.

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