Azhar Ali appointed Pakistan Test captain; Babar Azam to lead in T20Is, Sarfaraz Ahmed dropped from the team
ODI captain will be finalised later.
Updated - Oct 18, 2019 1:46 pm
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has named Azhar Ali as the Test captain ahead of the team’s Australia tour later this month. Babar Azam has been appointed Pakistan’s T20I captain as Sarfaraz Ahmed has been sacked as the leader from all the formats. Pakistan is scheduled to play three T20 Internationals and two Tests against Australia during their month-long tour Down Under.
Sarfaraz Ahmed’s position at the helm was under the scanner ever since Pakistan failed to make it to the semis in the World Cup. But still, the new head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq reinstated faith in him for the Sri Lanka series at home. While Pakistan won the ODI series 2-0, the second-string Sri Lanka side whitewashed them in the T20Is which led to the PCB taking strict steps.
The decision on the vice-captaincy will be taken closer to the series now. Also, the ODI captain will be finalised later as Pakistan is not scheduled to play any 50-over format series in the near future.
Pakistan drop Sarfaraz Ahmed for Australia tour
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz Ahmed has not only lost his captaincy but also his place from the Pakistan team. The PCB chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed the same stating that he has been given time to regroup himself by staying away from international cricket.
“It has been a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and a leader. But, his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been decided to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from international cricket,” Mani said according to PCB’s released statement.
Sarfaraz Ahmed was also present in the press conference when the final decision was announced and he congratulated the new captains. “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,” he said.