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Tuesday May 24, 2022

Kevin Pietersen puts weight behind Sarfraz for World Cup 2019 captaincy

Pietersen, who guided the Gladiators to a comfortable victory against Islamabad United on Wednesday night, stressed that Sarfraz was the best choice to captain Pakistan.

March 01, 2018
Sarfaraz Ahmed with Quetta Gladiators Team Mentor Sir Viv Richards.

SHARJAH: In the lead up to HBL Pakistan Super League 2018, Najam Sethi triggered a new debate when he singled out Karachi Kings’ newly-appointed skipper Imad Wasim as somebody who could go on to lead the national side.

“Imad Wasim is in my eye somebody who can lead Pakistan in the future,” is what the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) commented just days before PSL 3 exploded into action last week.

Many feared that such remarks might put Sarfraz Ahmed, whom Sethi just last year installed as Pakistan’s captain for all three formats, under undue pressure.

Sarfraz, 30, came under fire after Pakistan were thrashed 5-0 by the Black Caps in New Zealand with the stumper’s critics questioning whether he was the right man to lead Pakistan at next year’s ICC World Cup in England.

Ask Kevin Pietersen, Sarfraz’s team-mate at Quetta Gladiators, and he will tell you that Pakistan should refrain from making any leadership changes.

Pietersen, who guided the Gladiators to a comfortable victory against Islamabad United on Wednesday night, stressed that Sarfraz was the best choice to captain Pakistan.

“All the players like him (Sarfraz) and he has got a very good cricket brain," said Pietersen.

"The World Cup is only 12 months away so I think that it will be a very clever decision for the Pakistani board to say to Sarfraz that you are leading our team to the World Cup,” he stressed.

”If you replace your captain after a captain does as well as Sarfraz does, the new person that comes in thinks that he can be replaced too before the next world cup. From my experience, you back your captain...because if you back your captain your players feel safe too,” he added.

Pakistan will be hosting the last three matches of the PSL including the March 25 final on Home soil. Asked whether he will travel to Pakistan if his team qualifies for the eliminators, Pietersen said that he won’t be able to make the trip.

However, the former England star was pleased to be part of the Quetta family.

"It’s a wonderful family, the owners are incredibly humble, they are not super emotional like a lot of other owners. They don’t go dancing in the crowd, but they give us full support and we know that they back us."

Pietersen was confident that he will continue delivering for the Gladiators.

"I am committed to Quetta because I signed a contract and when I sign a contract I fulfill my obligations of performing to the best of my abilities and that’s the bottom line. I am here to score runs and the team have been absolutely magnificent for three seasons," he said.