Azhar Ali to be named Misbah's successor as ODI captain

PCB to name wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed as vice-captain for ODIs and T20s


Nabeel Hashmi March 28, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to name Azhar Ali, one of Pakistan’s most consistent batsman at the Test level as the new One-Day International (ODI) captain of Pakistan while World Cup hero Sarfaraz Ahmed will be his deputy.

“Azhar Ali will be the new one-day captain while Sarfaraz will be his understudy,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune.

“The board feels Azhar Ali is the right man to take the team forward while in the meantime Sarfaraz will be groomed as well,” the official added.

Azhar will be vice-captain in Test matches to Misbah while Sarfaraz will be deputy of Shahid Afridi in the T20 format.

Azhar has played 14 ODIs for Pakistan and last played in the format two years ago.

The batsman has scored 452 runs in 14 outings at an average of 41.09 in the 50-over format and was tipped to be the new captain by outgoing skipper Misbahul Haq and coach Waqar Younis.

The second contender for the post, wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed has been named the vice-captain for ODIs and T20s.

Sarfaraz has established himself as an important member of the Pakistan team after consistent performances throughout 2014 while he starred in the World Cup – notching up Pakistan’s first century in the mega event after 2007 edition.

Read: World Cup: Sarfraz elated at equalling Gilchrist record

Earlier, The Express Tribune had learnt the PCB was considering Sarfraz Ahmed and Azhar Ali for the post.

Read: The next captain: Azhar and Sarfraz emerge as leading contenders for ODI reins

“Azhar and Sarfraz are front-runners for the ODI captaincy as the PCB’s top management feels that they are both capable of leading Pakistan,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “Azhar is perhaps the strongest contender because he has got a good track record and a lot of experience in international cricket.”

Moin Khan sacked from chief selector post

Further, chief selector Moin Khan was removed from his post despite insisting he has done the right things in his tenure in a one-on-one meeting with PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan.

“The chairman has told Moin that he is being removed as Chief Selector. Haroon Rasheed will be the new chief selector but he will have to give up his Game Development post,” the official added.

Further, the official said, “Haroon is the one man who has got the players on his finger tips and we need someone like him.”

The PCB chairman was determined to removed Moin from his post despite opposition from senior board officials in this regard who backed Moin.

The 1992 World Cup winner was asked to return to Pakistan midway in the tournament as a controversy regarding his visit to a casino in Brisbane embroiled.

Read: Moin Khan arrives in Karachi following casino controversy

“Meanwhile, the members will include Saleem Jaffar, Kabir Khan and Azhar Khan while the official announcement will be made later,” he added.

An official statement in this regard will be made on Tuesday.

Previously the committee headed by Moin Khan, included Muhammad Akram, Shoaib Muhammad, Wajahatullah Wasti, Saleem Yousuf and Ejaz Ahmed as members.

Further, the PCB met with former cricketers Salahuddin ahmed, Saleem Jaffar and Wasim Bari to devise a strategy to improve domestic cricket and produce quality players.

Read: Selectors unhappy with impending axe

However, this decision does not mean Moin’s time in the cricket board is completely over. He could be given another important portfolio in the board to compensate for an ill-timed axe.

“Moin is likely to be given a strong post in the PCB because his services are still required by the board,” the official stated.

Shaharyar to question Waqar as well once he returns

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan is all set to question Waqar Younis on the handling of the team in the World Cup once he returns from Australia on April 5.

It has been learnt that the PCB Chief is unhappy with some of the decisions and comments made by the team management and Waqar was key part of the planning.

There had been severe criticism by media for constant snub of Sarfaraz Ahmed and misuse of Younis Khan and Yasir Shah in the World Cup.

In addition, Waqar also tried to put blame on the selection committee when he remarked in a press conference that he did not know if Sarfaraz was an opener.

It should be mentioned here that the selection committee had selected Sarfaraz as third opener and he performed really well once he got the chance bagging two man of the matches award out of three he played.

“Shaharyar Khan will question Waqar regarding his handling of the team and controversial comments,” a PCB official seeking anonymity told The Express Tribune.

“He had stayed in Australia and will be returning on April 5 and then the Chairman will meet him to have a detailed discussion as to what happened in the World Cup.”

COMMENTS (28)

shiraz | 6 years ago | Reply Sack waqar he is the main culprit
Mirza | 6 years ago | Reply A sensible decision by the board. A captain has to be mature, dignified and non emotional as he has to represent Pakistan not just himself. Pakistan's first captain Kardar never scored a century or took more than a handful of wickets in all his career but he was one of the best captain. To me it is a bold step that breaks the monopoly of Akmal brothers, and their gang of renegades. Azhar with Misbah in the one day team does not make much sense but without Misbah we need a leader like him to make sure we do not collapse in 20 to 30 overs.
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