Sarfaraz sacked as Pak skipper from all formats, dropped from team

Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan Cricket Board, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, ICC World Cup 2019, Pakistan tour of Australia
Sarfaraz has not only lost his captaincy but has also been dropped from the team. Azhar Ali named as Test skipper and Babar Azam to take charge as T20I captain. File Photo: PTI

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday (October 18) sacked Sarfaraz Ahmed from the national team’s captaincy for all formats of the games ahead of Pakistan’s tour of Australia later this month.

The right-arm leg break cricketer Azhar Ali has been named the Test Captain and Babar Azam has been appointed as the skipper for the shortest format.

Sarfaraz’s leadership was under the scanner since the team’s failure to make it to the semifinals of the ICC World Cup 2019. However, he held the spot during the Sri Lanka series at home due to the new coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq’s faith in him.

While the hosts won the ODI series 2-0, visitors Sri Lanka whitewashed the top-ranked team in T20Is which made the PCB take serious steps for the team’s welfare.

Meanwhile, the decision on the vice-captaincy will be taken before the start of the Australian series.

Also, the skipper for ODIs will be named later as the team is not scheduled to play any 50-over games in the near future.

Sarfaraz has not only lost his captaincy but has also been dropped from the team, as stated by PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani in an official statement.

“It has been a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and a leader. But, his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been decided to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from international cricket,” Ehsan said according to PCB’s statement.

“Sarfaraz Ahmed’s contributions are second to none and being the gutsy cricketer and fighter that we all know he is, I have no doubts he will be back in Pakistan colours at some stage,” he added.