Dubai: Azhar Ali said on Friday that he is desperate to resurrect his fortunes with the bat ahead of the 2019 World Cup after handing over the Pakistan one-day captaincy to Sarfraz Ahmed.
The 31-year-old was already facing calls for his head following Pakistan's dismal 4-1 series loss in Australia last month, but on Thursday he offered his resignation from the high-pressure job to Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan.
"I want to focus more on batting," Ali said. "That's why I also left the Test vice-captaincy as this is the right time to further improve my batting."
"I am honoured to have led Pakistan. I tried my best, but results did not come," added Azhar, who was surprisingly appointed after Misbah-ul-Haq quit ODIs following Pakistan's quarter-final exit at the 2015 World Cup.
He was not even part of the one-day team for 15 months before being made captain. His tenure was also marred by the dismal 3-0 loss to neighbours Bangladesh.
Overall, he skippered Pakistan in 31 matches, losing 18 and winning 12 with one no result.
That period also saw Pakistan drop as low as ninth in the one-day rankings.
The top seven teams — plus hosts England — on the cut-off date of September 30 this year will get direct entry to the World Cup. The four remaining teams will play a qualifying round in 2018.
Ali said it was time to move on in his career.
"It was like swimming against the tide which was not correct. I think this is not the right team to seek the captaincy or vice-captaincy."
Pakistan's next assignment is a three-match one-day series in the West Indies followed by two Twenty20 internationals and three Tests.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)