Sarfraz new T20 captain of Pakistan; hunt starts for Waqar’s successor
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed was on Tuesday appointed captain of Pakistan’s Twenty20 team following Shahid Afridi’s resignation from the post in the wake of the side’s disastrous World Twenty20 campaign in India.
The appointment of 28-year-old Sarfraz means that Pakistan will continue to have separate captains for all three formats of the game with Misbah-ul-Haq leading the Test side and Azhar Ali heading the One-day squad.
Sarfraz’s appointment was on the cards after Afridi announced last Sunday that he was stepping down as captain but would continue to be available as a player for the T20 format.
“It is a great honour to be made captain of Pakistan. My effort would be to ensure we get back our top rankings,” Ahmed said.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman, Shaharyar Khan said Sarfraz was the natural choice for the position since he had been made vice-captain in the ODI and T20 formats last year.
“I spoke to Sarfraz this morning and conveyed to him that he was our natural choice for this position. His appointment is open-ended. I wish him good luck in his new role,” he said,” Khan said.
Sarfraz has been one of the few consistent performers in the team in all three formats since the last two years and for long, has been seen as a natural successor to Afridi.
He has the experience of leading the national under-19, A team and the Karachi and PIA teams in domestic cricket.
Ahmed has played 21 Tests in which he has scored 1296 runs at an average of 46.28. His 58 ODI appearances have fetched him 1077 runs at an average of 29.91. In 21 T20Is, Ahmed has notched up 291 runs at 29.10.
He recently also led the Quetta Gladiators franchise in the Pakistan Super League guiding them into the final where they lost to Islamabad United.
Pakistan cricket is presently in turmoil after the national team fared poorly in the Asia Cup and World T20 and before that in series against England and New Zealand in this format. The PCB on Monday announced that it had dissolved the national selection committee after head coach, Waqar Younis also resigned from his post.