Imad was speaking to assembled media in Karachi on Tuesday and praised Sarfraz’s leadership of the side since taking over the captaincy reins.
The 28-year-old was addressing the media after being appointed captain of Pakistan Super League (PSL) outfit Karachi Kings.
“He’s the best thing ever that happened to Pakistan Cricket,” Imad said.
“He doesn’t eye personal pride, he is always there for Pakistan and wants to do the best for the country,” the all-rounder added.
When asked if he himself harboured any ambitions of leading the Pakistan side in the future, Imad said there would be no need of that as long as Sarfraz was around.
“Sarfraz is good enough a captain and there’s no need for me or anyone else to think of captaincy,” he said.
— Karachi Kings (@KarachiKingsARY) November 7, 2017
The all-rounder stated that the other players and he have no issue with the 30-year-old’s strict captaincy and the occasional rebukes.
“He’s always like this, he’s like a brother to us and everyone knows his style of leading the side. Those who don’t know him are making an issue, but we are comfortable with the way he’s leading the team,” he said.
While being full of praise for the team skipper, Imad was quick to also credit the team management and support staff for their role in Pakistan’s incredible turnaround in the limited-overs format.
“Team management deserves all the credit, the management is dealing with us very well. We have all realised the importance of fitness. We have understood how to carry the game. We have now started playing attacking cricket which is must for every format of the game,” he remarked.
“Coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach… everyone in management has been supporting players and the team environment is very morale-boosting, which is giving us confidence. The team atmosphere has given us the confidence that the Pakistan team is now capable of beating any team in the world,” he went on to add.
Sarfarz Ahmed’s men have been on a role in limited-overs cricket over the past year. The period included an unlikely ICC Champions Trophy triumph over arch-rivals India in England earlier this summer.
Bilateral series wins over the West Indies and Sri Lanka have also added to Pakistan’s rising star in the formats.
The team currently sits on top of the ICC T20I team rankings after their 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka. In the ODI format, pacer Hasan Ali has established himself as the No. 1 ranked bowler while Mohammad Hafeez leads the way in the all-rounder’s front.
Pakistan have climbed to top spot in the ICC T20I Team Rankings for the first time ever.
India’s 53-run win over New Zealand in Delhi meant Pakistan jumped the Kiwis to sit on first place, on Wednesday.
New Zealand were given a 203-run target by India, at the Feroz Shah Kotla, in the first of three T20I games, but could only manage 149 for 8 in their 20 overs.
Sarfraz Ahmed‘s men now have 124 points, followed by the Kiwis in second with 121 points while West Indies, England and India are third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Earlier, last month, seamer Hasan Ali too emerged as the number one bowler in ICC’s ODI Rankings.
— ICC (@ICC) November 1, 2017
While one 23-year-old in Babar Azam is creating a name for himself with the bat, another Pakistan bowler of the same age is creating waves with the ball recently in ODI cricket.
Pacer Hasan Ali became the quickest Pakistan player to claim 50 wickets in the 50-over game when his 5-34 destroyed Sri Lanka’s batting lineup in the third ODI between the two sides on Wednesday at A.
The islanders were eventually bowled out in the 49th over setting Pakistan a chase of 209.
The 23-year-old pacer’s five-wicket haul was the third of his only 24-match career ever since making his debut against Ireland in August last year.
The right-arm bowler has achieved a half-century of wickets in a shorter span of matches than Pakistan greats like Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shoaib Akhtar.
Ali is now also the highest wicket-taker in 2017 having claimed 40 wickets so far. He overtook England’s Liam Plunkett and Rashid Khan who both have 36 scalps each to their name.
The pacer has had a dream 2017 with his three five-wicket hauls coming in this span of time having earlier done the same to Australia and West Indies.
With this feat Ali becomes only the fourth Pakistan bowler to achieve three fivers in a calendar year and the ninth in the world. The last bowler from the country to do so was Shahid Afridi in 2011.
He played a vital role in Pakistan’s dream run to the title of the ICC Champions Trophy earlier this year in England where he picked up 13 wickets in five matches.
With Azam becoming the fastest to seven ODI centuries and Ali having a sensational start to his career, Pakistan’s future in the limited-overs format looks very promising indeed.