Who will lead Pakistan at the 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup is not certain at this point. Here is a shortlist of potential candidates.

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Pakistan sacked Babar Azam as captain across formats after the 2023 World Cup in November, while their support staff underwent a complete overhaul. They then let go of Mohammad Hafeez, the director of cricket for three months.

That is not all. Over the past week, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir have reversed their retirements, and are likely to be available for the T20 World Cup. He might have led in only one series, but Shaheen Shah Afridi’s future as the new T20I captain seems to be in jeopardy of some sort.

Shaheen may stay on – but he also may not. It is very likely that the selection committee will consider several candidates before zeroing in on one of them. With nine T20Is to play before the World Cup, the captain will have enough time to ease into the proceedings.

Shadab Khan

The last time he played for Pakistan, Shadab was the vice-captain. The last time Pakistan played T20Is, he was out with an injury. If a captain is indeed replaced, is not unreasonable to expect his deputy to take over, especially if, in the recent PSL, he was both the winning captain and the Player of the Tournament. Arguably the most important cricketer of the Pakistan T20I side, Shadab will be a frontrunner for the job.

Mohammad Rizwan

With a three-match cut-off, no captain in PSL history matches Rizwan’s win-loss ratio of exactly 2 (32 wins, 16 defeats). Among active captains, Shadab (1.291) comes a distant second. Rizwan has never led Pakistan in limited-overs cricket before, but his success in the PSL puts him in a favourable position.

Babar Azam

A year after leading Pakistan to the T20 World Cup final, Babar lost the job after Pakistan had a poor run in a World Cup in another format. Now, with the set-up about to change again, he is likely to be part of the mix, especially after an excellent season in PSL 2024.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

True, Pakistan lost 4-1 in New Zealand under Shaheen, but it has been his only series as captain to date. There was a time when Pakistan went through ten captains in a decade (the 1990s), but of late, they have preferred consistency. The Lahore Qalandars finished last under Shaheen this time, but he had led them to PSL title success in 2022 and 2023. During the former, he had become the youngest captain to win a franchise league.