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Shoaib Malik congratulates Sarfaraz Ahmed for being confirmed to lead Pakistan in World Cup 2019

This should settle the rumours of the rift between the two star players.

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Veteran Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik has congratulated Sarfaraz Ahmed after the latter was confirmed as Pakistan’s captain for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales. Sarfaraz’s future as Pakistan skipper hung in balance when he was banned for four international games after his alleged racist remarks in South Africa and PCB’s policy of selecting captain on a series-to-series basis.

The wicketkeeper-batsman had racially abused South Africa allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the second ODI in Durban. He was heard saying: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”. Translated literally that is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”

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Sarfaraz had later apologised for his remark but the damage was already done and the ICC banned him for four games. Not impressed with the verdict, PCB had then asked Sarfaraz to return home, appointing Shoaib as the stand-in skipper for the rest of the tour. All these incidents raised concerns over Sarfaraz’s future as the captain. However, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, on Tuesday, ended all the speculations and confirmed that the wicketkeeper-batsman will lead the team at least until the World Cup.

“Sarfaraz has been an integral part of Pakistan’s World Cup preparations. He has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer,” Mani said on Tuesday. “He led Pakistan to the Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to top of the ICC T20I rankings.”

Following the news, Shoaib Malik took to Twitter to congratulate his teammate, writing, “Mubarak @SarfarazA_54 on the World Cup captaincy announcement. May we win this cup like we did last time in England iA.” Sarfaraz was quick to reply to the congratulatory message, responding: “In shaa Allah Shoaib bhai thanks :)”

No feud with Malik

With reports suggesting that Malik might replace Sarfaraz as skipper, there were also rumours suggesting that all is not well between the two stars. However, recently, Sarfaraz had denied the claims. “There is no truth to the claim people who play under Shoaib bhai don’t want to play under me. All the boys are very good and support each other. I don’t think there’s anything about that,” he said.

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