Sarfaraz Ahmed: Pakistan wicketkeeper to stay on as captain after racism ban

Ruben Hill
February 5, 2019

Ahmed, who accompanied Mani at the media briefing, said that he was grateful for the opportunity to lead Pakistan cricket team in the upcoming World Cup.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani confirmed on Tuesday that Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side in the upcoming ODI World Cup.Some doubts were raised recently when Sarfraz was recently banned for four worldwide games after his alleged racist remarks in South Africa and PCB's policy of selecting captain on a series-to-series basis.However, Mani said he was convinced that Sarfraz remains the right man to lead the team.

Expressing his happiness over the announcement, Sarfraz said he is happy to represent the side at the World Cup.

Mani further added that PCB can not ignore the contributions made by Sarfraz as captain.

Recalling the time when Ahmed first came into the limelight while leading Pakistan's team to victory in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup against India, the PCB chief said, "Sarfaraz has made great progress since he led the team in the Under-19 World Cup, he has only improved with time". His achievements and contributions as a captain and as a valuable all-round cricketer can not be undermined or overlooked because of the team's recent Test results. "After it, we will sit and evaluate the performance", he said.

Sarfraz, who was banned for four global matches by the worldwide Cricket Council for breaching its anti-racism code during the South Africa tour, thanked the board for placing its confidence in his leadership abilities.

"I feel proud to be joining the list of cricketers that led the Pakistan cricket team into world cups in the past".

Sarfaraz played three matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, finishing with 160 runs as an opener.

Sarfaraz, who was caught on a stump microphone using the Urdu word "kaale", meaning "black", said: "The reality is the last few weeks have been extremely hard for me as a person and professional".

Despite recent patchy form in Tests, Sarfraz was at the helm as they upset the odds to go all the way in the Champions Trophy in 2017 in England, where this summer's World Cup is being staged.

"But I am delighted the PCB has reassured its confidence and faith in me". "It has boosted my confidence tremendously", said Sarfraz. "We have top quality talent and match-winners with a committed support staff in the dressing room", he said when asked about how he felt going into the upcoming worldwide showdown. Everyone is geared up and keenly looking forward to returning to the country where we won the last major ICC tournament. He will captain Pakistan in the Australia series [five ODIs before the World Cup] and in the World Cup. "He will lead the team in the series against Australia and also in the World Cup", the PCB chairman said.

Sarfraz, 31, was sent back home from the ongoing tour of South Africa after the ICC ban.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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