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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

PCB chairman reveals reason behind Sarfaraz Ahmed’s exclusion from Tests, T20Is

Sarfaraz, who came under a lot of fire following Pakistan’s dismal performance in the ICC World Cup 2019, was also dropped for the upcoming tour of Australia, where they will play three T20Is and kick-start their World Test Championship campaign.

cricket Updated: Oct 19, 2019 07:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A file photo of Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed.
A file photo of Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed.(Action Images via Reuters)
         

Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as Pakistan cricket team skipper in Tests and T20Is after a slew of disappointing performances as Azhar Ali and Babar Azam took over in the respective formats. Sarfaraz, who came under a lot of fire following Pakistan’s dismal performance in the ICC World Cup 2019, was also dropped for the upcoming tour of Australia, where they will play three T20Is and kick-start their World Test Championship campaign.

“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,” PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said in the official statement after the decision.

READ: Sourav Ganguly gives clear answer on Ravi Shastri’s re-appointment issue

Reacting to his axing, Sarfaraz said: “It has been an honour to lead Pakistan at the highest level. I want to thank all my colleagues, coaches and selectors who have helped me in this journey. My good wishes are with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and the Pakistan cricket team, and I hope they will continue to grow stronger and stronger.”

Meanwhile, Azhar said that Sarfaraz has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players and he will now look forward to inspiring those players to collectively achieve their 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. I have always played my cricket the hard way but in a fair manner, and will ensure I continue to uphold the spirit of cricket and enhance the image of the team and the country,” said Azhar as per a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media release.

READ: Sarfaraz sacked, Pakistan name Azhar & Babar as new captains

Meanwhile, Babar said: “To be named captain of the No.1 ranked side in the world is the biggest thing that has happened to my career to date. I am ready for this challenge and also willing to learn more in the process.”

“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,” he added.

(With agency inputs)