Sarfaraz Ahmed no longer Pakistan’s Test and T20I captain:
Sarfaraz Ahmed has been removed as Pakistan’s Test and T20I captain by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Azhar Ali is now appointed as Pakistan’s Test captain and Babar Azam has been named the new T20I captain for the Pakistan cricket team. The decision on ODI captaincy will be taken later by the PCB since Pakistan’s next ODI is scheduled in July next year, while the decision on vice-captaincy will be made closer to the series against Australia.
Azhar Ali appointed Test and Babar Azam T20I captain
More ▶️ https://t.co/ekAM8l0ENP
— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) October 18, 2019
Sarfaraz Ahmed has also been dropped from the Test and T20I squad of Pakistan for their upcoming tour to Australia because of his poor performance in both the formats. Sarfaraz’s performance after the 2017 Champions Trophy has been questionable. Since the 2017 Champions Trophy, he led Pakistan in 44 ODIs with an average of less than 29 runs per match and scored 3 half-centuries. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s recent T20 performance has been below average as well, he scored 67 runs in the 3 T20Is against Sri Lanka in Lahore at the strike rate of 108.
Sarfaraz Ahmed led Pakistan in their triumphant victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy where Pakistan defeated India by 180 runs. Sarfaraz also brought Pakistan’s T20I squad to the no. 1 ranking in the world.
Sarfaraz said that it has been an honor for him to lead Pakistan at the highest level. He also expressed his gratitude towards his colleagues, coaches, and selectors who have helped him in his journey. Sarfaraz also congratulated Azhar Ali and Babar Azam by saying that he hopes they will continue to grow stronger and stronger.
Azhar Ali’s reaction:
The Test specialist, Azhar Ali will lead Pakistan in the World Test Championship 2019-2020. Azhar Ali has played 73 Tests and scored more than 5600 runs with an average of 43.
"There is no bigger honour than to captain the Pakistan national cricket team in the pinnacle format of the game. I feel humbled, excited and privileged" – @AzharAli_
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) October 18, 2019
Azhar Ali praised Sarfaraz Ahmed by saying that he has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players and now he looks forward to inspiring those skillful players in their future endeavors to achieve their World Test Championship.
Azhar Ali also talked about his objective and goals during his press conference after he was appointed as Pakistan’s Test captain.
Azhar Ali explained that he is not only targeting wins, but he also aims to provide new players with opportunities to grow and express themselves so that Pakistan cricket can resume its journey to the very top.
Babar Azam’s reaction:
Babar Azam is Pakistan’s new T20I captain and the leading batsman in all formats. He is the no. 1 ranked T20I batsman in the world. Babar has scored more than 1200 runs in 33 matches with an average of 49. He is currently ranked no. 2 on ICC ODI ranking. Babar Azam has scored more than 3300 runs in his 74 ODIs with an average of 54, scoring 11 hundreds and 15 half-centuries.
Babar Azam regarded being named captain of the no.1 ranked side in the world as the biggest thing to happen in his career. He said he is ready for this challenge and also willing to learn more in the process.
Babar also praised Sarfaraz by saying that he had led the side in the shortest format by example and now it is his responsibility to take forward Sarfaraz’s accomplishments so that Pakistan can remain consistent, attractive and Powerful side.
Babar Azam has led Pakistan in the 2012 U19 World Cup and is currently the captain of Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup.
PCB chairman, Ehsan Mani about Sarfaraz Ahmed:
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani explained that Sarfaraz Ahmed’s loss in confidence and performance are the reasons behind this decision. Ehsan Mani was hopeful that Sarfaraz will make his return in the squad soon.
PCB chairman congratulated Azhar Ali and Babar Azam on becoming Pakistan’s new Test and T20I captain. Ehsan Mani expressed that it was a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and as a captain but his loss in performance and confidence is visible. PCB chairman added that it had been decided that leaving Sarfaraz out and providing him the opportunity to collect his thoughts and try to get back into his form while being away from international cricket is in the best interest of the team.
Ehsan Mani praised Sarfaraz by saying that his contributions to Pakistan cricket are second to none. Ehsan Mani said he has no doubts that Sarfaraz will be back in the Pakistan team at some stage.