Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani on Tuesday confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side as captain at the upcoming World Cup tournament starting May 30, 2019. There were doubts over Ahmed’s captaincy after he was banned for four ODIs by ICC over his racist remarks to South African allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the 2nd ODI against Proteas.
After holding a meeting with the right-hand batsman, Mani announced that he is confident in Ahmed’s abilities to lead the time in the major tournament. “There’s no doubt that Sarfraz Ahmed is our captain and he will remain so until any other decision is taken,” he said.
“There are speculations after every series in the media which is unsubstantiated. He will captain Pakistan in the Australia series [five ODIs before the World Cup] and in the World Cup. After it, we will sit and evaluate the performance,” he said.
Mani further added that PCB cannot ignore the contributions made by Sarfraz as captain. “We should look at the contributions that Sarfraz has made for Pakistan,” he said.
“Sarfaraz has been an integral part of Pakistan’s World Cup preparations. He has proved to be a good strategist, leader, and performer,” Mani added. He led Pakistan to CT 2017 title as well as to the top of the ICC T20I rankings.”
Expressing his happiness over the announcement, Sarfraz said he is happy to represent the side at the World Cup. “I feel humbled and honoured to be placed in the same bracket as some of the most iconic and legendary cricketers who have previously captained Pakistan at the World Cup,” he said.
“I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with committed support staff in the dressing room,” the 31-year-old added.