Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday removed Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain from T20I and Test following Pakistan’s dismal performance in the recently concluded T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Veteran batsman Azhar Ali has been named as Pakistan’s skipper in Tests and Babar Azam will take over as T20I captain. However, it has been not made clear whether Sarfaraz will continue as the ODI captain or not as Pakistan’s next 50-over assignment isn’t until July next year.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has also been dropped from the side ahead of Australia tour and has been asked by the PCB to regain form in domestic cricket before, inorder to be a part of the side in the future.
Sarfaraz was named as Pakistan’s Twenty20 International captain following the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, while he took over as their ODI skipper in 2017 after Azhar Ali stepped down. Under his captaincy, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy 2017 by defeating arch-rivals India in the tournament finale.
Sarfaraz Ahmed’s dismal batting form and his ordinary result-making has cost him his place as Pakistan’s skipper in two formats. Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq was reportedly unhappy at Sarfaraz’s failure to take responsibility of the team’s clean sweep at the hands of an inexperienced Sri Lanka side and the players’ lack of effort in training.
A resolution to remove the struggling Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was also proposed in the Punjab Assembly last week after the Men in Green’s recent whitewash in the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Pakistan cricket has been going through a period of turmoil in last 10 months. The year started with a Test series drubbing at the hands of the South Africa, which was followed by a sequence of 11 back-to-back defeats in One-day cricket, including a 0-5 shellacking at their rented home in Abu Dhabi at the hands of the Australians.
Following Pakistan’s poor performance in the World Cup, voices were raised for the removal of Sarfaraz as captain of the side. Pakistan were knocked out in the group stage of the tournament as they finished fifth on the points table-at equal points (11) with New Zealand after the round-robin stage.