Pakistan sacks Sarfaraz as Twenty20, Test skipper

LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) – Pakistan sacked Sarfaraz Ahmed from his post as Twenty20 and Test skipper yesterday, a week after he led the side to a shocking 3-0 home defeat against an inexperienced Sri Lanka.

The showdown in Lahore gave the visitors their first Twenty20 series win against Pakistan in seven attempts while missing 10 of their top players – including regular T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, who refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.

Senior batsman Azhar Ali will replace Sarfaraz as Test skipper, while Babar Azam will lead the Twenty20 side, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said.

“Sarfaraz has been replaced … on poor performance,” said a press release.

Azam has been appointed skipper until next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, while Azhar will remain in charge for the 2019-2020 season.

Squads for the tour will be announced on October 21.

The change is seen as surprising despite the Sri Lanka whitewash. Pakistan had reached number one in the Twenty20 rankings under Sarfaraz, winning 11 series along the way.

Sarfaraz also topped the batting chart with 67 runs across the series.

File photo shows Pakistan’s team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed talking with the media at the National Stadium in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP