Speculation over whether Sarfraz Ahmed will lead Pakistan in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England has surfaced in recent weeks but the wicketkeeper batsman’s captaincy has now received the support of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani.
Sarfraz currently leads the side in all three formats of the game with the team enjoying a sensational run of 11 consecutive T20 series wins under him. However, despite the World Cup being barely eight months, the 31-year-old’s captaincy for the global showpiece is yet to be rubber-stamped by the authorities.
On Wednesday, PCB chief Mani threw his weight behind Sarfraz’s captaincy while inspecting the renovation work currently underway at the National Stadium in Karachi.
“I think this (captaincy) issue has been unnecessarily raised for a while now. As the PCB chairman, I feel Sarfraz is doing a great job as the Pakistan captain across all formats. He was first appointed (as the T20 skipper) by Shaharyar Khan and then became captain of one-day and Test sides with the passage of time,” Mani was quoted as saying by Dawn.
“Our team has been performing very well in recent times and there is tremendous camaraderie in the ranks. The credit for this definitely goes to Sarfraz and Mickey Arthur. The results speak for themselves and Sarfraz’s own form is extremely good now.
“There is no doubt in my mind over Sarfraz being the Pakistan captain. We have full trust in his leadership qualities. So the question of who is going to lead at the World Cup is meaningless.”
Recently, PCB’s newly constituted cricket committee chairman Mohsin Khan had created controversy by stating that Sarfraz should give up his Test captaincy to reduce his workload. Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq are also part of the four-member cricket committee.
Mani downplayed Khan’s comments on Sarfraz and said that the cricket committee’s role is an advisory one.
“As for Mohsin, he made those comments about Sarfraz a long time back. For me it holds no significance because as the chairman I have full confidence in Sarfraz’s ability as the team captain and there are no doubts in my mind,” said Mani.
“The committee we have constituted brings a lot of experience. The four people collectively bring a rich playing experience of more than 900 internationals. This (committee) has an advisory role and they will give us feedback when we require their expert opinion.”
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