Despite Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup, Sarfaraz Ahmed has somehow managed to retain his captaincy in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Friday. PCB has also named Babar Azam as vice-captain for three ODI and three T20I matches against Sri Lanka.
In April 2016, the 32-year-old Sarfaraz was appointed as the Pakistan captain for the T20Is before being elevated as ODI captain in early 2017. He was then named captain across all formats following the 2017 tour of the West Indies. Sarfaraz has captained Pakistan in 13 Tests, 48 ODIs and 34 T20I out of which he won four, 26 and 29 matches respectively.
I feel humbled and honoured to have been awarded extension to my captaincy term,” Sarfaraz said in a statement. “I have enjoyed captaining the Pakistan cricket team and look forward to improve my leadership qualities under the new set-up of Misbah-ul-Haq who also has a proven record as captain.”
“I have played most of my cricket under Misbah and we know each other pretty well. I think we will make a good combination, which will contribute to improved performances of the side across all formats.”
In the World Cup 2019, Pakistan played nine matches out of which they managed to win five while they lost three matches. Their match against Sri Lanka was abandoned due to rain.
“I am aware we have not done justice to our potential in ODIs, which has disappointed us as well as our fans. I am hopeful we will be able to turn things around in the coming season and in this relation, I remain committed to stepping up to the challenge with my performances and captaincy,” he added.
The team faced huge criticism after they lost against India by 89 runs. They were ranked at fifth spot in the teams’ rankings of the tournament and could not qualify for the semi-finals as only the top four teams were awarded the knockout spot.
The appointments were confirmed by PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, following recommendations made by Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq and the PCB Cricket Committee.
“Sarfaraz is an experienced campaigner who has excelled and improved as a leader with every match. I have complete faith in his abilities and confident that he will continue to blossom under Misbah’s wings,” Mani said.
“We have appointed Babar Azam as Sarfaraz’s vice-captain. This is part of Babar’s gradual development as a future captain and in line with our strategy of introducing a succession plan across the board so that there are no gaps. I am hopeful the trio of Misbah, Sarfaraz and Babar will do well for Pakistan cricket,” he added.