Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has removed Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of Pakistan Cricket Team from all three formats with immediate effect.
The Wicketkeeper-batsman has also been left out of the squad for Pakistan Tour of Australia. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and chief selector Misbah Ul Haq have asked Sarfraz Ahmed to raise his performance in domestic cricket to regain his spot to the national side.
Top-order batsman Azhar Ali has been named the test captain while Babar Azam, the current No.1 batsman in T20Is has taken over T20 captaincy from, Sarfraz Ahmed.
Reports state that Pakistan’s newly appointed head coach and chief selector Misbah Ul Haq was not happy with Sarfraz Ahmed’s behaviour which lacked a sense of responsibility. Misbah raised his concerns over Sarfraz Ahmed’s non-serious behaviour towards fitness and net practice.
The appointments were confirmed after Sarfraz Ahmed was left out of Test and T20I squads for Australia tour due to poor performances in the past.
Azhar Ali has been named as test captain for test championship which will carry out from 2019-21 while Babar Azam has taken over the captaincy in T20Is, and he will remain the captain till ICC T20 World Cup 2020, which is exactly a year away from now.
Pakistan will take on Australia for three T20Is and two Tests in upcoming days. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to announce T20 squad in a couple of days. The team will leave for Australia on October 26.
As stated by Express Tribune, After being appointed captain of Pakistan Test side, Azhar Ali said: “There is no bigger honour than to captain Pakistan in the longest format of the game. I feel humbled, excited and privileged, and with the support of the team, I am looking forward to justifying the faith that has been entrusted upon me for the World Test Championship.”
“Sarfaraz Ahmed has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players, and I now look forward to inspiring those skilful players in our endeavours to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond. These are exciting times in Pakistan cricket with new team management. As a captain, I feel comfortable that there will be several knowledgeable people in the hut who I can rely on advice and guidance.”
Azhar further said,” I am not only targeting wins but also aim to provide opportunities to players to grow in stature and express themselves so that Pakistan cricket can resume its journey to the top. I have always played my cricket the hard way but fairly, and will ensure I continue to uphold the spirit of cricket and enhance the image of the team and the country.”
Babar Azam said,” To be named the captain of the No.1 ranked side in the world is the biggest thing that has happened to my career to date. I am ready for this challenge and also willing to learn more in the process. I feel it has been a natural progression for me, and I am delighted that the PCB has put faith in my capabilities. Sarfaraz Ahmed has led the side in the shortest format by example, and it is my responsibility to take forward his accomplishments so that we remain a consistent, attractive and compelling side.”
Recently sacked skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed said, “It has been an honour to lead Pakistan at the highest level. I want to thank all my colleagues, coaches and selectors who have helped me in this journey. My good wishes are with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and the Pakistan cricket team, and I hope they will continue to grow stronger and stronger.”