Published: Sun, October 20, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Ousted Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to remain in top Central Contract category

Ousted Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to remain in top Central Contract category

With Sarfaraz's diminishing form - particularly in ODI and Test cricket - a subject of increasing media scrutiny, and speculation about his future rife in the wake of the 3-0 T20I series defeat at home to Sri Lanka, Azhar was considered the top contender to take over Test captaincy.

Sarfaraz was sacked as Pakistan skipper in Tests and T20Is.

In the wake of Pakistan's dip in form in the recent times, wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has been sacked as the captain of the national team with immediate effect, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed.

"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".

Ali, who made his Test debut in 2010, termed it the "biggest honour" to lead the team in the longest format and said: "I feel humbled, excited and privileged, and with the support of the team, look forward to justifying the faith that has been entrusted upon me for the World Test Championship".

The recent series defeat against Sri Lanka, where the second-string team whitewashed Pakistan, played against Sarfaraz and PCB chose to remove him as captain.

Former Test batsman and ex-head coach and chief selector Mohsin Khan said, "He (Sarfaraz) took Pakistan to number one in T20 cricket and he is a fighter".

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"PCB didn't do any homework or research before appointing Babar as captain".

The board's digital media team had uploaded a short video on its official page, in which a few players were found celebrating as a team official waved to Sarfaraz to walk off. "He did not deserve this treatment", he said. If dropped, Sarfaraz will return to domestic cricket to make a comeback in the national team.

"He (Sarfaraz) has shown himself to be a fine captain and yes he was struggling a bit for form but when a senior player is under pressure you have to encourage and back him, not dump him like this", Moin said.

"Misbah and Waqar (Younis) never liked Sarfaraz".

Former Test pacer Aaqib Javed also criticised the Board for taking a odd decision. The amount of cricket I have played for Pakistan, the next four-five years are very important for me both as a player and a captain.

Another former captain Ramiz Raja, however, felt that the Board had taken a courageous decision to appoint Babar Azam as T20 captain and said people defending Sarfaraz should accept his poor form in recent months as skipper. Babar has already led Pakistan in the Under-19 World Cup in Australia in 2012.

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