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Sarfraz Ahmed Confirmed as Pakistan Captain for World Cup

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 9, 2019, 10:18 AM IST
Sarfraz Ahmed Confirmed as Pakistan Captain for World Cup

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed (Getty Images)

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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 international 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.

“I am happy to confirm that Sarfaraz will remain Pakistan captain till the World Cup. I was always clear in my mind that Sarfaraz would be the captain. I was keen to speak with him on the team’s recent performances as part of the normal review and appraisal process, and, more importantly, about his own future plans as we all know he has undergone some tough times as a professional cricketer in the past few weeks," said the PCB Chairman.

“Sarfaraz has reiterated his commitment to the Pakistan cricket team as well as his availability and enthusiasm to captain the team at the World Cup.

“Sarfaraz has been an integral part of the Pakistan cricket team’s World Cup preparations and has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer.

“He led Pakistan to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to the top of the ICC Twenty20 International rankings. His achievements and contributions as a captain and as a valuable all-round cricketer cannot be undermined or overlooked because of the team’s recent Test results.

“I am confident he will continue the good work with Mickey Arthur and Inzamam-ul-Haq so that the team is in the best possible shape and form to produce strong performances at the World Cup,” he added.

Sarfraz meanwhile said he will be honoured to captain the side and join an elite list of players to have done the same for Pakistan in a World Cup.

"I feel humbled and honoured to be placed in the same bracket as some of the most iconic and legendary cricketers who have previously captained Pakistan at World Cups. It is the dream of any international cricketer to play in a World Cup, but to be appointed captain in the biggest cricket spectacle on the planet is something that is extremely special.

“The reality is that the last few weeks have been extremely difficult for me as a person and professional. But I am delighted that the PCB has reassured its confidence and faith in me. It has boosted my confidence tremendously," said Sarfraz.

“I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with a committed support staff in the dressing room. Everyone is geared up and keenly looking forward to returning to the country where we won the last major ICC tournament.

“In the lead up to the World Cup, Pakistan will play five ODIs each against Australia and England, which will also allow us the opportunity to further fine-tune our preparations. I am sure we’ll give a good account of ourselves at the World Cup,” he added.
First Published: February 5, 2019, 3:25 PM IST
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