Pakistan Opening batsman Azhar Ali has stepped down as Captain of national One Day International (ODI) team, paving the way for Wicket Keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed to lead the Side in 50-over format as well.
The decision of Azhar Ali to quit followed a harsh criticism over his Captaincy and even his slow batting style. The criticism was further intensified after Pakistan lost to Australia by 4-1 in recent five-match series.
“(Azhar) Ali came to me and said that his batting form was affecting due to captaincy and that he wanted to step down, so we have appointed Sarfraz as one-day skipper,” Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan told a foreign news agency.
— PTV Sports (@PTVSp0rts) February 9, 2017
The 29-year-old Sarfraz Ahmed has already been leading Pakistan T20 Side since April 2016 when Shahid Afridi left the Job.
So far Sarfraz Ahmed has featured in 67 ODIs, 33 Tests and 25 T20s for Pakistan in International arena, and hold the batting average of 42.34, 34.83 and 33.70 in all formats respectively. His strike rate is also excellent in all three formats as he maintains 74.4 strike rate in Test matches, 88.6 in ODIs, and 122.99 in T20s.
It is also expected that Sarfraz Ahmed can also be appointed as Captain of Pakistan Test team as Misbah-ul-Haq may announce his retirement anytime or PCB relieves him of his responsibilities after Pakistan’s consecutive Test defeats against New Zealand and Australia.
Though under Misbah-ul-Haq’s Captaincy, Pakistan secured top spot in ICC Test Rankings but now it has slipped down to number 6.
The PCB Chairman further said that Test Captain Misbah’s future is also in question.
“Misbah has asked for some time (about his future) so we have given him time to decide in the next few days,” Shaharyar Khan said.