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February 6, 2019

Sarfraz to lead Pakistan at World Cup


February 6, 2019

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday confirmed that Sarfraz Ahmed will remain Pakistan captain till the ICC World Cup 2019.

The 31-year old was suspended for four matches over some of his on-field remarks in January but the the PCB remained firmly on his side even as the episode unfolded.

“Sarfraz has been an integral part of the Pakistan’s World Cup preparations. He has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer,” Mani said on Tuesday. “He led Pakistan to the Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to top of the ICC T20I rankings.”

The PCB boss also confirmed that Sarfraz’s position as captain will only be re-evaluated after the World Cup.

“There were a lot of speculations around captaincy in media but I can confirm that he is our captain and he will remain for the upcoming series against Australia until World Cup,” Mani said.

“I had no doubt about it but it’s unfortunate the uncertainty is making rounds over and over in media. We are not concerned at all about what is being discussed around.”Mani recalled Sarfraz’s captaincy during the Under-19 World Cup in 2006.

“I first met Sarfraz 13 years ago during ICC Under-19 World Cup in Colombo and his leadership quality was great,” he said. Pakistan are scheduled to play 10 ODIs ahead of World Cup in May — five against Australia in UAE in March followed by five against England.

Sarfraz, who is currently preparing for the PSL, said that Mani’s support has lifted his spirits.“I thank PCB for trusting me,” he said.

“This support has always been there and I’m thankful for the reassurance. It is a big honour for me to lead Pakistan at World Cup and stand among those who did in past people like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq.”

“Pressure is always there during captaincy. But with the chairman and board’s support I feel motivated more than ever. I now would like to transfer the same to the team for the upcoming Australia series and World Cup.”

Since making his debut against India in Jaipur in November 2007, Sarfraz has played in 101 ODIs, including 35 as captain. He has scored 1,942 runs at just under 33 and has dismissed 121 batsmen behind the wickets.

Sarfraz played three matches in the ICC World Cup 2015, finishing with 160 runs as an opener.

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