Sarfaraz Ahmed Retained as Pakistan Captain
Sarfaraz Ahmed has been retained as Pakistan team’s captain, while Babar Azam has been named vice-captain for three ODI series and three T20I home series against Sri Lanka, which will run from September 27 to October 9.
In April 2016, Sarfaraz was appointed captain of the T20Is in Pakistan before being promoted to captain of the ODI in early 2017. He was then named captain, regardless of format, following the 2017 Tour of the West Indies. To date, Sarfaraz has captained Pakistan in 13 events, 48 ODI and 34 T20I, winning 4, 26 and 29 games respectively.
Babar Azam, who is ranked 16th in the Tests, third in the ODI and No. 1 in the T20I, was previously captain of Pakistan at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. He had also competed at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in 2010 before breaking into international cricket in 2015 and since then has been a regular feature of the side in all formats.
The appointments were confirmed by THE PCB President, Ehsan Mani, following the recommendations of the Pakistani head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq, and the PAC Cricket Committee.
Sarfaraz Ahmed said: “I feel honoured to have been extended from my captaincy. I had the pleasure of leading the Pakistan cricket team and I look forward to improving my leadership skills in the new Misbah-ul-Haq squad, which has also proven itself as captain.
“I played most of my cricket under Misbah, and we know each other pretty well. I think we will make the right combination, which will help improve camp performance in all formats.
“I am aware that we have not exploited our ODI potential, which disappointed us and our fans. I hope we can make a difference in the coming season and this relationship. I remain committed to the challenge with my performance and my leadership.
“I have complete confidence in my team, which has always demonstrated its talent, class and charisma. The only thing missing was consistency, which Misbah and I would like to focus and improve in all football departments. I assure all our fans that we will not neglect anything in our preparations for the next missions and that we will do our best to translate these preparations into solid performances. “
Ehsan Mani said: “Sarfaraz is an experienced activist who has excelled and improved as a leader in every game. I wholeheartedly believe in his [Sarfraz] abilities and am confident that he will continue to thrive under Misbah’s wings.
“We have appointed Babar Azam as Sarfaraz’s vice-captain. This is part of Babar’s gradual development as a future captain and is part of our strategy of introducing a succession plan in all areas so as not to leave any holes. I hope that the Misbah, Sarfaraz and Babar trio will do well in Pakistani cricket. “
Misbah-ul-Haq said: “I would like to congratulate Sarfaraz for his confirmation as captain of Pakistan and Babar for his appointment as vice-captain. Both are one of Pakistan’s most talented and exceptionally gifted cricketers and deserve these assignments.
“Consistency, supported by good performances, was my criterion for recommending Sarfaraz as captain. Also, I think I am in a better position to make the most of Sarfaraz because I know him better than most cricketers because he played most of his cricket under my captaincy. I have always admired his commitment and the energy he brings to his side.
“I focused on changing the culture of the dressing room and the mentality of the players to get better results, and I think Sarfaraz is a perfect fit to help me achieve those goals.
“Over the past two weeks, Sarfaraz and I have been working together on some aspects of his cricket that will improve his overall performance. We both realize that the world is performance-driven and that we are supposed to give our best every time we take the field. I look forward to working with him, and I hope that we will succeed in changing the outlook for the Pakistan cricket team.
Nineteen odds for the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka will be announced on Monday, September 16. The camp will begin at the National Cricket Academy from Wednesday, September 18.