Inzamam backs Sarfraz for 2019 World Cup captaincy

Chief selector praises wicketkeeper-batsman’s performances in 2017


Sports Desk March 04, 2018
WHO ELSE? Inzamamul Haq praised Sarfraz Ahmed’s performances in 2017, saying he is the best choice to lead the Pakistan side in the upcoming 2019 50-over World Cup. PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Pakistan national selection committee head Inzamamul Haq believes current skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is the best choice to lead the side in the upcoming 2019 50-over World Cup.

Sarfraz, who led the ODI side to the Champions Trophy silverware last year, isn’t facing any competition or criticism for the position but Inzamam believes the captain should be given certainty so that he can be mentally prepared.

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“The captain leads the team from the front,” said Inzamam while talking to media in Sharjah during the Islamabad United-Lahore Qalandars match. “We should know beforehand who is going to lead the team in the 2019 World Cup.”

He continued: “Sarfraz’s leadership in the last year has been exceptional and there is no doubt that he will lead the team in the 50-over World Cup next year.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman, who is captaining Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL), has also earned praise from the likes of Kevin Pietersen.

“Pakistan is lucky to have a captain like Sarfraz,” Pietersen had said after a match-winning knock for the Gladiators. “Sarfraz has a good cricketing brain. So, Pakistan Cricket Board should assure him that he is going to lead the team in the World Cup.”

Pitersen had further said that changing captain can disturb the confidence of the team. “Only 12 months remain before the mega event. Changing the captain will disturb the preparations. If the captain is sure of leading the side, then the players will feel safe too.”

On Pakistan’s World Cup squad

Although there is a whole year left before the World Cup kicks off in England, but Inzamam believes players should start preparing for the event starting from now.

“The players who will eventually become a part of the 2019 World Cup should be given time in the team beforehand,” said Inzamam. “This will help their confidence.”

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The chief selectors said he has a possible 20-man squad in the mind but can’t give an exact date of when the final line up will be announced.

“We have 20 probables in our sight,” he said. “But I can’t tell you when the squad will be finalised and announced. It will happen a few months before the event.”

Inzamam was specially inspired by Islamabad United batsman Hussain Talat and Peshawar Zalmi’s leggie Ibtisam Sheikh.

 

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