Shadab Khan has been appointed the Islamabad United skipper for the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League.
The star all-rounder will take over the reins from Mohammad Sami, under whose leadership Islamabad finished third in the six-team table last year. Sami was eventually released by the franchise ahead of the PSL draft and went unsold.
Shadab had served as the veteran seamer's deputy after being named the vice-captain for the United in PSL 4 and led the side in three matches when Sami was injured.
The 21-year-old leggie burst onto the cricket scene in the second season of the PSL when he was plucked out of obscurity by Islamabad United.
He later made a successful transition to the international level and is deemed as a vital cog in Pakistan's white-ball set-up.
With an impressive PSL record of 29 wickets in 32 matches at a frugal economy rate of 6.89, Shadab will have an important role to play in Islamabad's attempt at earning their third PSL title.
He claimed it was a special moment for him to captain the team where his journey began and hoped to work in unison with coach Misbah-ul-Haq to regain the coveted trophy.
“It's an honour for me that [franchise owner] Ali bhai and the franchise have considered me for this role. I hope to learn as much as I can from this opportunity and hope that I will live up to the expectations they have of me," Shadab said.
"Islamabad United has made me what I am today, and I hope to repay the faith they have invested me in for so many years. I know what it takes to win the PSL, and working with Misbah bhai I am sure that we can challenge for the trophy again."
Islamabad United's first match in the forthcoming season will be against defending champions Quetta Gladiators in the tournament opener at National Stadium, Karachi.
United owner Ali Naqvi reiterated the franchise's commitment to providing a suitable platform to youngsters and ensuring that players like Shadab develop into future leaders.
"We always focus on developing our Pakistani players across all disciplines - cricket playing ability, general physical and mental fitness, and leadership skills. It's one of the remits we have given to our coaches and managers that Islamabad United should be a graduating school for the national team," he stated.
"No one encapsulates that commitment quite like Shadab. His rise over the past three years, and the way he has conducted himself through that rise have been exemplary. Furthermore, his knowledge and understanding of the game means that he is someone that is ideally suited for the responsibility that comes with such a post.
"With an experienced group around him and a culture that is already established, I am sure this will be ideal for him."