Shan Masood has been appointed as Pakistan’s new Test captain after Babar Azam stepped down from his leadership role across all three formats.
Pakistan’s group stage exit in the ongoing World Cup has brought about change, with Shaheen Shah Afridi to lead the side in the T20 formats. With no scheduled ODIs in the coming months, a captain in that format has yet to be appointed by the PCB.
Masood, 34-years-old, has just completed the first of a two-year overseas deal as Yorkshire’s captain, in which he scored 720 runs in seven LV= Insurance County Championship matches at an average of 60.
The left-hander has since returned home to Pakistan domestic cricket over the last month-and-a-half, enjoying significant success.
Masood has been playing for the Karachi Whites, helping them to win the four-day Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, scoring 180 and 51 in last month’s final win over Faisalabad.
His latest cricket has come in the one-day Pakistan Cup, which has reached semi-final stage.
Karachi face Multan in Rawalpindi on Friday (4.30am UK).
In six appearances in that competition, Masood has scores of 121 not out and 99 to his name.
In fact, in all cricket since returning home from Yorkshire duty at the end of September, Masood has scored 672 runs in 12 innings at an average of 61.09.
Masood’s first assignment as the new Test skipper will be a three-Test tour to Australia from December 14 to January 6.
Pakistan then do not have any scheduled Test cricket until a two-match series against Bangladesh through August. They are then due to host England in a three-match series next October.
With the news having only just broken this afternoon, it is not yet clear how this will affect Masood’s Yorkshire commitments.
But coach Ottis Gibson said: “The first thing to say is, ‘Congratulations to him’.
“We don’t know what it means for us yet. We’ll have to sit down and have a look at it in terms of what Test Cricket Pakistan have next year and what his availability is going to be like.
“But it’s happened very quickly, so it’s something we will have to sit down and have a conversation with him about and have a good look at.”
Gibson added: “During the summer just gone when he wasn’t selected for Pakistan’s World Cup squad, Shan was very disappointed. But he’s performed well on the back of that, for us and at home over the last few weeks.
“Quite often when there’s a World Cup cycle, lots of things change for various countries.
“If he’s not going to be available, we’ll have to try and get somebody else in.
“After two years of instability, what I want more than anything – with the goals we’ve set ourselves for next summer – is to have some stability. Let’s see.”
Masood has played 30 Tests to date, with four centuries in his haul of 1,597 runs.