Pakistan ODI and T20I captain Sarfraz Ahmed thinks teams is facing tough times after the Pakistan Super League (PSL) spot-fixing scandal.
Islamabad duo Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif are facing corruption charges after they were suspended from the second edition of the PSL by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Apart from the two, left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan, right-handed batsman Shahzaib Hasan and left-handed batsman Nasir Jamshed were also suspended by the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Unit.
“I don't want to comment on the PSL issue but yes, we are going through tough times and we need to do well in the upcoming series to boost our people,” Sarfraz told the media before leaving for the West Indies where Pakistan play four T20Is, three ODIs and three Tests matches.
Pakistan are currently eighth in the International Cricket Council’s ODI rankings and will directly qualify for the 2019 50-over World Cup if they can keep hold of the spot. However, if West Indies manage a 3-0 whitewash against Sarfraz’s men then Pakistan will be up against it in their bid to reclaim the eighth position before the September 2017 cut-off date.
However, even a single Pakistan win will be enough for them to keep their position on the table, while a series win will consolidate their position even further. A whitewash by Pakistan will meanwhile lift them to the seventh position, replacing Bangladesh.
Earlier, Sarfraz admitted that the loss of left-handed opener Sharjeel is a blow to his squad but he backed the newcomers to fill the void on the tour of the West Indies.
Saddening to lose player of Sharjeel's calibre: Sarfraz
“It’s saddening when you lose some players who are perfect for the setup,” said Sarfraz while talking to reporters at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. “Sharjeel was the type of player who we needed as he was perfect for the contemporary run-and-gun style of cricket.”
To lose a player of his quality, says Sarfraz, is a bitter blow, but one his team is prepared to overcome. “He isn’t with us anymore so of course it will affect us but I have full faith in the newcomers and they will translate their domestic form at international level.”
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