He takes over the role from Shadab Khan and will work closely with Shaheen Afridi who was named full-time T20I captain
Prior to the team’s five-match series against New Zealand, the Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] named Muhammad Rizwan the vice-captain of the Twenty20 International team. Shadab Khan, who missed the New Zealand tour due to an ankle injury, is recovering, and the wicket-keeper batter takes over in that capacity.
Following Babar Azam’s resignation as captain of all cricket formats after the 2023 ODI World Cup, a number of changes have been made to the Pakistani leadership group and board structure, with Rizwan’s appointment being the most recent. With only four victories in nine games, Pakistan ended fifth in the standings and was unable to advance to the knockout stages. The T20I team’s skipper, Shaheen Afridi, will have the 31-year-old Rizwan serving as his deputy.
Prior to this, Rizwan held leadership positions both domestically and internationally. After Babar was forced to miss two Test matches due to a fractured right thumb, he captained Pakistan against New Zealand in late 2020 and early 2021. Since 2021, Rizwan has led the Multan Sultans in the PSL as captain. The Sultans emerged victorious in 2021 and advanced to the finals in 2022 and 2023 under his direction. Throughout the 238 T20s he has participated in, he has led in 64 of them.
“It is a privilege to be selected as Pakistan Men’s T20I vice captain. I am appreciative that the PCB gave me this duty. In order to help the team succeed, I am excited to collaborate closely with the captain, the coaching staff, and my teammates,” Rizwan stated.
With a remarkable T20I record, Rizwan has amassed 2797 runs at an average of 49.07 across 73 innings, including 25 half-centuries and one century. But in recent years, his strike rate of 127.30 has drawn criticism. Along with taking 41 catches, he has also produced 11 stumpings.
After losing to Australia 3-0 in the Test Series, Pakistan is hoping a change in format will result in better fortunes. Five Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) are slated to be played in New Zealand, with the first one starting in Auckland on January 12. Next up for them is a trip to Hamilton for the second Twenty20 International, then on to Dunedin and finally Christchurch for the final two matches.