‘Shoaib Malik better suited’: Former Pakistan players react to change in captaincy

Indianexpress

Indianexpress

Author 2019-10-19 00:30:15

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Former Pakistan players have reacted to the change in the national team’s captaincy in various ways. While Shoaib Akhtar has lamented outgoing captain Sarfaraz Ahmed’s poor form in recent times, Shahid Afridi has said the selectors might have missed a trick by giving the T20I captaincy to Babar Azam.

Sarfaraz Ahmed was removed as Pakistan captain on Friday. Babar Azam will take over the reins of T20I captaincy and Azhar Ali will take over Test captaincy.

Congratulating Sarfaraz on his stint as Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi said, “You have done very well for Pakistan cricket. You have taken the team to the No.1 spot in the T20I format. You have led Pakistan to a Champions Trophy triumph. Age is on your side and you can put in hard work in domestic cricket and make a comeback to the team as a player.”

Saying that Azhar Ali’s appointment as the Test captain is a good move, Afridi said the selectors could have gone a different way in the T20I format.

“No doubt Babar Azam is the backbone of the team, he is a consistent performer. However, given that the T20I World Cup is coming up, giving the T20I captaincy to Shoaib Malik would have been a more sensible move. The best move would have been to appoint Shoaib Malik as captain till the World Cup,” he said.

Shoaib Akhtar, bemoaning the “lack of decision making and leadership quality” showed by Sarfaraz, said, “Nobody else is to be blamed but him. Been telling him for two years to pull up his socks.”

“It has been an honour to lead Pakistan at the highest level. I want to thank all my colleagues, coaches and selectors who have helped me in this journey. My good wishes are with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and the Pakistan cricket team, and I hope they will continue to grow stronger and stronger,” Sarfaraz said on Friday.

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