Pakistan sacks Sarfaraz, names Azhar as Test captain

Under Sarfaraz Ahmed's captaincy Pakistan won the Champions Trophy 2017 and rose to the top of the T20I rankings

The recent visit by the Sri Lankans and the subsequent 0-3 inflicted on the No.1 ranked T20I side in the world, has proved to be a death knell for captain (former) Sarfaraz Ahmed. However, he has no experience leading the national team in big time worldwide cricket.

"His (Sarfaraz) loss in form and confidence is visible and in the best interest of the team it has been chose to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from global cricket", Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement on Friday.

The 34-year-old Azhar has played 73 test matches and scored 5,669 runs with 15 centuries.

Earlier, Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka in Karachi and Lahore in a landmark series, but the return of worldwide cricket was marred by the 3-0 whitewash in T20Is at the hands of a second-string Sri Lanka side. Pakistan won only four test matches and lost eight during that period.

"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". So there are many challenges, but it's also a great opportunity to play fearless, exciting cricket and get the desired results. But, his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been chose to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from worldwide cricket.

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Sarfaraz Ahmed, meanwhile, said it was an honor to lead Pakistan and wished good luck to Azhar Ali and Babar Azam.

"I feel it has been a natural progression for me and I am delighted that the PCB has put faith in my capabilities", he said.

Azam, who is the number one batsman in the T20 format, declared that being named captain of the side is the "biggest thing that has happened to my career to date".

It seems that Sarfaraz, who has not been chosen in the Pakistani team for the upcoming Australia tour, didn't want to let the prestigious post of captain go that easily. Second, the chairman and Misbah bhai have given me the clear that I have provide most inputs.

The announcement of the ODI captain, as per PCB, will be made in due course since Pakistan don't play any ODIs until July 2020.

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