'Shady abay ball pakar' - Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan miss Sarfaraz Ahmed on the field; former skipper responds

‘Shady abay ball pakar’ – Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan miss Sarfaraz Ahmed on the field; former skipper responds

Sarfaraz had to face the axe after Pakistan's whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka in the T20I series.

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed had a nightmarish 2019. Ahmed, who had started 2019 as Pakistan Cricket Team’s captain across all the three formats of the game saw his fortunes hit nadir mid-way through the year. The situation became so bad that the wicketkeeper-batsman was not only stripped off the leadership duties but was also dumped from the set-up with Muhammad Rizwan replacing him as the wicket-keeper.

Babar Azam and Azhar Ali took over the reins of the white and red-ball teams respectively. Sarfaraz hasn’t played for Pakistan after he was dumped from the side post the 0-3 whitewash against a second-string Sri Lankan side on home soil. Since then, the former captain has been plying his trade in domestic cricket, and there have been reports that he might make a comeback in the T20I side for the series against Bangladesh after the underwhelming performances of Muhammad Rizwan.

And, it seems like some of his teammate, who flourished under Ahmed’s captaincy- all-rounder Hasan Ali, opener Fakhar Zaman, and spinner Shadab Khan- are already missing him. It all started when all-rounder Hasan Ali posted a collage of Sarfaraz depicting his leadership skills in his Instagram story which he captioned as “Captain will be my Captain”. One of Sarfaraz’s fan pages on Twitter shared Hasan Ali’s story and opener Fakhar Zaman was quick to retweet it with a quote “Saifi Bhai”. 

Shadab Khan too joined the bandwagon when he commented on Zaman’s quote, stating, “Saifi Bhai the great”. Zaman and Shadab then proceeded to hilariously reminisce one of the many things that Sarfaraz used to say on a cricket field, to which the former captain could say nothing but only laugh.

Sarfaraz Ahmed had a nightmarish 2019

It all started to go downhill with Pakistan’s tour of South Africa early in the year where the Men in Green were shellacked across all the three formats- 0-3 in Tests, 2-3 in ODIs and 1-2 in T20Is- of the game. Sarfaraz’s leadership, as well as his dwindling form, came under heavy scrutiny. But what made matters worse for the former captain was when he came under the scanner for hurling a racial jibe at Andile Phehlukwayo during a One-day match.

Sarfaraz was reprimanded and the wicketkeeper-batsman duly apologized for his antics, but things only went downhill from there. Pakistan went into the World Cup on the back of nine successive defeats to Australia [0-5] and England [0-4] and it all came to a head when Sarfaraz was caught yawning during the high-profile Indo-Pak fixture. Pakistan lost comprehensively and the image of Sarfaraz yawning not only became the subject of trolls and memes of social media, but it also led to former cricketers and fans questioning his fitness and his place in the side.

His fortunes revived a bit as Pakistan won their last four WC games. But, it was just a matter of time before his fortunes once again moved downwards, and it probably hit the nadir when Sri Lanka beat the No.1 ranked side in the world- 0-3.