‘It has been an honor to lead Pakistan at the highest level’ – Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz congratulated Babar Azam and Azhar Ali on their new roles.
Updated - Oct 18, 2019 3:46 pm
It was expected, isn’t it? After what was a humiliating 0-3 defeat at the hands of an inexperienced Sri Lankan side at home, the pressure was mounting on skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed to keep his job at the helm. And, now it’s official. The 2017 Champions Trophy-winning captain and the leader under whom Pakistan went on to become the No.1 ranked T20I side in the world, has been sacked as captain of the national team. Test opener Azhar Ali and the No.1 ranked T20I batsman in the world, Babar Azam has been named as captains of the longest and shortest format of the game.
Hope Pakistan continues to grow: Sarfaraz Ahmed
Speaking on his removal, Sarfaraz, whose dismal form both in front and behind the wickets cost him not only the leadership duty but also his place in the set-up, congratulated Azhar Ali and Babar Azam for their appointment as captain of the respective formats. The former skipper also thanked the team management, players as well as the PCB for their continued support during his three-year tenure.
“It has been an honor 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,” Sarfaraz Ahmed said in an official statement as quoted by India Today
Earlier, reports had emerged that the Pakistan Cricket Board was reluctant to change the T20I captain for the series against Australia. However, in the past few days, other reports that head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul Haq was not happy with Sarfaraz had also surfaced. Misbah had reportedly asked the PCB to change the captain, something that may have led to this decision
Reacting to Sarfaraz’s removal, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said, “Sarfaraz Ahmed’s contributions are second to none and being the gutsy cricketer and fighter that we all know he is, I have no doubt he will be back in Pakistan colors at some stage.”
Sarfaraz was handed over the captaincy duties across formats after Misbah-ul Haq’s retirement back in 2017. In a 3-year-stint where he led Pakistan to 59 wins in 95 matches across the three formats. His highest point was when he led Pakistan to a Champions Trophy win in 2017 by beating arch-rivals India.