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Sarfaraz Ahmed to remain under top category in central contract, clarifies PCB

Sarfaraz will not be picked for the upcoming Australia tour.

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan wicket-keeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has suddenly found himself out of his team’s favour. He has lost both captaincy and a place in the national Test and T20I teams. The decision came on Friday, leaving many in the country’s cricketing fraternity surprised. Sarfaraz has been one of Pakistan’s most successful captains who not only made the team the No.1 in T20Is but also won the Champions Trophy in 2017, beating arch-rivals India in the final.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has come under criticism for dumping Sarfaraz although it defended the move saying it was because of the 32-year-old’s poor performance. However, the board has made it clear that the ousted captain will remain among players with Category-A contract since he is available for selection in all three formats. The board said this while refuting rumours that the keeper would be relegated to a lower category and said he will retain his central contract till July 2020.

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“There will be no change in his central contract as he is available for selection in all three formats,” the spokesperson was quoted by agencies as saying. Among other players who have the Category A contract are Babar Azam, Pakistan’s new T20I captain and veteran spinner Yasir Shah.

PCB apologises over Sarfaraz Ahmed tweet gaffe

The PCB had also issued an apology after its Twitter account posted a GIF that showed a few players celebrating while Sarfaraz Ahmed walked off. The board said the timing of the post was not right and it was more about a promotion about next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia. The board said the decision to release the video came at the same time when Sarfaraz’s removal happened.

Sarfaraz Ahmed led Pakistan to win in 29 matches out of 37 in the T20Is, which makes him the most successful captain in terms of win percentage. However, the Karachi cricketer came under a heavy criticism after Pakistan lost their recent T20I series against Sri Lanka 0-3 at home. He has scored over 5,000 runs and took almost 300 catches and effected over 50 stumpings as wicket-keeper.

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