Pakistan cricket is no stranger to controversy, and the latest reports from local media suggest another storm is brewing. Test captain Shan Masood is reportedly not keen on including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi in the squad for the upcoming Test series against Bangladesh.

Pakistan will host Bangladesh in a two-match Test series this August. These matches are part of the ICC World Test Championship, and Shan Masood’s team aims to capitalize on home conditions to secure vital points.

Shan Masood Takes Bold Decisions

Shan Masood has allegedly informed the management that he prefers Sarfaraz Ahmed over Mohammad Rizwan for the wicketkeeper role.

Additionally, he has proposed a list of fast bowlers to replace Shaheen Afridi, including Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mir Hamza, Khurram Shahzad, and Aamir Jamal. Haris Rauf is also likely to be left out.


Initially, it was believed that Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi were to be rested. However, new reports indicate that Masood does not want them in the squad at all, raising questions about team unity.

Reports suggest that Shan Masood, head coach Jason Gillespie, and the selection committee have started planning for the series, discussing the players they want on the team.

Rumours of a captaincy struggle between Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi have circulated recently, leading to a divided team during the T20 World Cup 2024. Pakistan’s performance suffered as a result, and Masood seems determined to prevent this toxic environment from affecting the Test team.

Building for the Future

Together with coach Jason Gillespie, who took on the role in April, Shan Masood hopes to build a cohesive and confident team. They plan to foster young talent and create a winning environment.

While Pakistan’s white-ball team has struggled under Babar Azam’s leadership, Shan Masood is eager to make a mark in red-ball cricket.


This series against Bangladesh is his second assignment as captain, following a challenging tour in Australia where Pakistan lost 3-0. Now, with the advantage of home conditions, Masood aims to secure his first win as Test captain.

If the reports are accurate and Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi are excluded from the series, it would be a significant shake-up. These players have been crucial to Pakistan’s success across all formats in recent years. Their absence will be a test of the team’s depth and resilience.

Will Shan Masood’s bold strategy pay off, or will the absence of key players be too much for Pakistan to overcome? The upcoming series against Bangladesh will provide the answer.

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