Sarfaraz Ahmed has been sacked as Pakistan captain from the Test and T20I formats, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam will replace him, a Pakistan Cricket Board press release announced on Friday, 18 October. Moin Khan, former Pak Captain, thinks the decision of removing Sarfaraz as captain from t20 is foolish.
The wicket-keeper batsman has also been dropped from the squad for both formats, a consequence of his indifferent form. The move comes just ahead of the tour of Australia, where Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Tests. Just a year ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, the decision was surprising and idiotic for many. Between the two events, Pakistan will also host Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for two Tests each, and the latter for three T20Is.
Azhar Ali has for long been one of their most dependable red-ball batsmen, with 5669 runs in 73 Tests at an average of 43.27. He was one of Pakistan’s mainstays during their previous tour of Australia, returning with 406 runs – the most for his side – from six innings at an average of 81.20, with a hundred and two fifties.
Reacting to being handed the captaincy, Azhar said: “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, and with the support of the team, look forward to justifying the faith that has been entrusted upon me for the World Test Championship. Sarfaraz Ahmed has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players, and I now look forward to inspiring those skilful players in our endeavours to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond. I am not only targeting wins but also aim to provide opportunities to players to grow in stature and express themselves so that Pakistan cricket can resume its journey to the top. These are exciting times in Pakistan cricket with new team management. As a captain, I feel comfortable that there will be many knowledgeable people in the hut, whom I can rely on advice and guidance. I am not only targeting wins but also aim to provide opportunities to players to grow in stature and express themselves so that Pakistan cricket can resume its journey to the top. I have always played my cricket the hard way but fairly, and will ensure I continue to uphold the spirit of cricket and enhance the image of the team and the country.”
Babar has long been considered the leading batsman among Pakistan’s younger generation of players. The No.1-ranked T20I batsman in the world, Babar averages close to 50 in the shortest format at the international level. He has previously captained Pakistan at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012. Presently, he is engaged in Pakistan’s National T20 Cup, where he slammed 102* off 59 balls in Sindh’s tournament opener.
“To be named the captain of the No.1-ranked side in the world is the biggest thing that has happened to my career to date,” Babar said. “I am ready for this challenge and also willing to learn more in the process. I feel it has been a natural progression for me, and I am delighted that the PCB has put faith in my capabilities. Sarfaraz Ahmed has led the side in the shortest format by example, and it is my responsibility to take forward his accomplishments so that we remain a consistent, attractive and powerful side.”
Sarfaraz exits with a captaincy record of 29 wins in 37 matches, for a win percentage of 78.37 – the highest among Pakistan captains to have led in 20 or matches at this level. He had a more modest record in Tests, with four wins and eight defeats in 13 matches. Under his leadership, Pakistan rose to the No.1 position in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings, and won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 spectacularly in England, defeating the tournament hosts and favourites, and India, in the semi-final and final.
Pakistan will begin their new era with a three-match T20I series against Australia, starting on 3 November. That will be followed by a two-Test series, which will also mark their foray into the ICC World Test Championship.
Twitter Erupted to the news
A user from Pakistan tweeted, A very tragic decision by the poor PCB. Person who has made all his efforts to make Pak no.1 in t20 rank is now been removed from that format as well ‘Shame on PCB.’ This sums up the action of PCB.
Whatever #SarfarazAhmed Registered his.
Over 70% Success Rate in ODIs❤️
Best T20 Success Rate❤️
ICC Champions Trophy Victory❤️
Owhhh…. Now it’s #Babar’s time to say inshallah boys played very well ?
The captain who won Champions Trophy , The captain who made you no:01 T20 team , the captain who won 11 consecutive T20 series is removed from captaincy when only 12 months are remaining for World T20. #Misbah #SarfarazAhmed
There is mountains of instabilities in
@TheRealPCB, always. Except his T20 batting #SarfarazAhmed has been an amazing captain and of course the first to achieve the feat to defeat India in any ICC event after a long-long time. He should have leading the team. @SarfarazA_54
Dr. Nauman Niaz, a cricket analyst from Pakistan tweeted his disbelief,
Misbah has worst times as a white ball captain still he survived. He could have empathized with Safi. Rather he opted getting hard on him. Sad. In Australia there could be further devastation. How will Misbah justify then? if we lose Babar to such pressures will he take the blame
Yaaaaar just let Babar bat! He’s the only world class batsman we have. Just let him bat. Just let him selfishly bat and make more and more records. Bus. Thats all he should do. Please. ?? #BabarAzamT20Captain
Sarfaraz Ahmad had his ups and downs as captain,will be most remembered for the CT win in 2017,however such is the fate of Pak captains that it never really ends well for them! Good luck to him for the future..
Sarfaraz’s achievements– U-19 victory in 2006. Champions Trophy victory in 2017. He captained Pakistan to No. 1 ranked T-20 team from 2018- till date. The trophy of PSL in 2019. He captained Pakistan in 37 T-20 Internationals and won 29 with a win% of 78.37%, a record 11 consecutive series won by Pakistan, was under his captaincy.