Sarfaraz Ahmed has been relieved of his duties as captain of Pakistan’s Test and Twenty20 teams due to a “visible loss of form and confidence”. The wicketkeeper-batsman was originally appointed as captain in 2017, but he only won four of his 13 Tests at the helm, while he failed to steer Pakistan to the semi-finals of this summer’s World Cup in England.
Batsman Azhar Ali will replace Sarfaraz as Test captain, while Babar Azam will lead the team in T20s, with Pakistan cricket board chairman Ehsan Mani confirming it was not an easy decision, but he believes the change in leadership is best for everyone concerned. “It has been a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and a leader,” Mani confirmed.
“But his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been decided to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from international cricket.”
The change in captaincy comes just a month after former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq replaced Mickey Arthur as the team’s new head coach and chief selector. The Shaheens are due to tour Australia next month where they will play three T20 matches and two Tests.