Sarfaraz Ahmed was dismissed as a Pakistani captain from the Test and T20I format, a press release from the Pakistan Cricket Board said on Friday, October 18.
The wicket-keeper Batsman was also removed from the squad for both formats because of his indifferent form. The move is about to kick off the Australia tour, where Pakistan will play three T20Is and two tests, and just one year before the ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2020. Between the two events, two tests will take place in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Pakistan, and the latter for three T20Is.
JUST IN: Sarfaraz Ahmed has been removed as Pakistan’s Test and T20I captain. Azhar Ali and Babar Azam will replace him. pic.twitter.com/3OhXWYbrCG— ICC (@ICC) October 18, 2019
Sarfaraz will be replaced by the best batsman Azhar Ali as the test captain, while the 25-year-old batsman Babar Azam will take over the leadership of the T20I and remain in office until the next World Cup.
Azhar has long been one of her most reliable red-ball batsmen, with 5669 runs in 73 tests, averaging 43.27. He was one of Pakistan’s heroes during his previous Australia tour and returned home with 406 runs – most for his side – of six innings with an average of 81.20, one hundred and fifty-two. In the 2019/20 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan’s premier competition, he finished second with 388 runs in four games at 77.60.
Azhar responded by handing over the captain and said, “There is no greater honor than the captain of the top-class Pakistani national cricket team. I feel humbled, excited and privileged, and look forward, with the support of the team, to justifying the trust that has been entrusted to me for the World Test Championship.
“Sarfaraz Ahmed has done a great job turning talents into experienced players, and I look forward to inspiring these talented players to jointly achieve our goals for the World Test Championship and beyond.
“It’s an exciting time in Pakistani cricket with a new team leader. As a captain, I feel comfortable that there will be a number of knowledgeable people in the cabin that I can rely on.
“Not only do I aim for victories, but I also want to give players the opportunity to gain in size and express themselves so that Pakistani cricket can continue on its way to the top. I have always played my cricket hard but fair and will ensure that I continue to uphold the cricket spirit and improve the image of the team and the country. “
Babar has long been considered the leading batsman among the younger Pakistani players. Babar is the world’s best T20I batsman and is just under 50 in the shortest format on an international average. Previously, he captained Pakistan at the ICC U-19 World Cricket Championship in 2012. He is currently participating in the Pakistani National T20 Cup, beating 59 balls at the opening game of Sindh 102 *.
“It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my career to be captained by the best team in the world,” said Babar. “I’m ready for the challenge and ready to learn more.” I think that this was a natural progression for me, and I am glad that the PCB has placed confidence in my abilities.
“Sarfaraz Ahmed has led the team in the shortest format by example, and it is my responsibility to advance his achievements so that we remain a consistent, attractive and effective team.”
Sarfaraz leaves the tournament with a captain record of 29 wins in 37 games, which equates to a 78.37 win percentage. This is the highest percentage among Pakistani captains that has resulted in 20 games or games at this level. He had a more modest record in tests, with four wins and eight defeats in 13 games.
Under his leadership, Pakistan rose to No. 1 in the ICC Men’s T20I Team Ranking and spectacularly won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England defeating the tournament’s hosts and favorites as well as India in the semi-finals and final.
His fall took place after a 3-0 defeat by a second division side from Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, the 32-year-old lovingly looked back on his time as the team leader and wished the two new candidates every success in their future tasks. “It was an honor to lead Pakistan at the highest level. I would like to thank all my colleagues, coaches and selectors who have helped me along this path, “he said. I wish Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, and the Pakistani cricket team all the best and hope they continue to grow stronger and stronger. “
Pakistan will begin its new era with a T20I series of three games against Australia starting on 3 November. This is followed by a two-test series that also marks the entry into the ICC Test World Championship.