Sarfaraz Ahmed has been retained as Pakistan captain for three ODIs and three T20Is against Sri Lanka in Karachi and Lahore later this month. The PCB have been appointing Sarfaraz on a series-by-series basis and there had been speculation that they may not retain him after Pakistan failed to make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The PCB had already chosen to move on from Mickey Arthur who had been the Pakistan coach at the World Cup and Sarfaraz’s performances, as captain and player, had not been the best. The 32-year old wicketkeeper has made 621 runs from his last 29 innings at an average of 32, with only four fifties.
But perhaps encouraged by the way Pakistan ended their World Cup campaign, with four wins in a row and only missing out on the semi-finals on net run-rate, both the PCB and new coach Misbah-ul-Haq have given him their full backing. The board has also appointed the 24-year old Babar Azam as vice-captain in both formats.
Speaking to reporters in Lahore, Sarfaraz said he was “honoured” to be re-appointed and that he will do all he can to increase Pakistan’s consistency. “I am aware we have not done justice to our potential in ODIs, which has disappointed us as well as our fans,” he said. “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.
“I also have complete faith in my team, which has time and again shown talent, class and charisma it possesses. The only thing missing has been consistency, which Misbah-ul-Haq and I would like to focus and improve across all departments of the game. I assure all our fans we will not leave any stone unturned in our preparations for the forthcoming assignments and will do our best to translate these preparations into solid performances.”
More to follow