PCB to announce Pakistan captain for Australia, England series after PSL 4

The PSL starts on February 14.

Pakistan team
Pakistan team. (Photo Source: CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP/Getty Images)
Shubham Ghosh

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Pakistan suddenly found themselves without their captain at the helm as Sarfaraz Ahmed was handed a four-match ban after using racial expletives against a South African cricketer recently. The development created a fuss in Pakistan cricket since the wicketkeeper-batsman leads the Men in Green in all the three formats of the game. Veteran batting all-rounder Shoaib Malik was leading Pakistan in the absence of Sarfaraz but questions remained over the future of captaincy.

Sarfaraz was handed the ban by the International Cricket Council after he abused South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo in the second ODI against South Africa in Durban recently. Phehlukwayo excelled in that game both with the ball and bat and after one of his edges missed the stumps closely during the Proteas’ chase, a frustrated Sarfaraz called him a “black guy” in Hindi, leaving the Pakistani cricket fraternity embarrassed.

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja, who was commentating when the ugly incident took place, avoided translating it for his fellow commentators. The ICC later handed over the ban to the 31-year-old for the racial slur and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which was disappointed with the decision since it thought the matter had been amicably settled, recalled the cricketer back home.

Who will lead Pakistan against Australia and England?

Though technically Sarfraz’s ban ends before the conclusion of the SA series (two ODIs and two T20Is), doubts have been raised over who will lead Pakistan in the twin series against Australia and England ahead of the World Cup. While Australia are supposed to play Pakistan in five ODIs in the UAE, Pakistan will travel to England for one T20I and five ODIs days before the World Cup.

According to a report by Pakistan’s ARY Sports, the decision on the national captaincy will be announced after the upcoming Pakistan Super League (PSL) gets over. The fourth edition of the PSL is scheduled between February 14 and March 17. On Wednesday, it was told on the PCB’s behalf that it will announce the captain series by series.

Malik, who will turn 37 on Friday, meanwhile, did a good job in captaining Pakistan to an 8-wicket victory over South Africa in the fourth ODI last Sunday to square the five-match series 2-2.

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