Sarfraz Ahmed replaces Azhar Ali as Pakistan ODI captain
Azhar Ali has resigned from his position as the captain of the Pakistan ODI cricket team. Azhar will be replaced by wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is already the skipper of the T20I squad.
Sarfaraz is also the captain of the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League and played an excellent role in helping his side get to the final of the first edition of the competition. The Gladiators fought hard but went down to the Islamabad United side in the final to concede the title but Sarfaraz’s leadership seemed to have impressed everyone involved with Pakistan cricket.
The keeper-batsman will lead Pakistan in their next tour of West Indies which will be played in March-May – with the side expected to play two T20Is and three ODIs. What makes that series absolutely crucial is the fight for the direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup could come down to the result of that ODI series given these two sides are looking to fight for the eighth direct spot.
In a report in Express Tribune, a PCB member is said to have revealed the resignation. He said: “Azhar Ali decided to step down from ODI captaincy and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management has decided to make Sarfraz Ahmed as the next ODI captain.”
“The PCB management including Chairman and Executive committee member are present in Dubai for opening of PSL where they have decided to give ODI captaincy to Sarfraz who have been a successful captain in T20 format.”
Azhar had a poor time of late as the captain of the Pakistani ODI side, leading them in 31 ODIs and winning just 12 matches. His last series as the skipper of the Pakistani side was in Australia where the side lost 4-1 and Azhar was also banned from one game because of a slow over-rate.
What do you make of the decision? Do you think Sarfaraz Ahmed is the right choice as Pakistan ODI captain?