Zafar Sarfaraz
Zafar Sarfaraz Image Credit: KR Nayar

Dubai: Zafar Sarfraz, who unfortunately became the first professional cricketer to surrender to coronavirus and died in a private hospital in Peshawar, will be missed by those who played and interacted with him. Fifty-year-old left-handed Sarfraz, a former first-class cricketer who played for Peshawar in 15 first class games, was on a ventilator for the last three days in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

Speaking to Gulf News, Abdul Rehman, the regional Coach of the Peshawar, said: “Sarfaraz was a very nice human being and very humble person. He did not play many matches for Peshawar but was popular among the cricketers. He worked as a cashier in a bank and may have probably got the virus while at work. We are all very sorry about his demise.”

Sarfraz is Zafar a humble and nice human being, says Peshawar coach the brother of Pakistan international Akhtar Sarfraz, who went on to play four ODIs between December 1997 and October 1998. It has been only 10 months since June 10, 2019, that his brother Akhtar had passed away due to colon cancer at the age of 43.

“Being a cricketer, he had many friends. It is from one of them that I got his latest photograph. Everyone remembers him for his humility and qualities as a nice human being,” added Rehman.

Sarfraz had played in 15 first-class matches and scored 616 runs with four half-centuries. Former UAE skipper Khurram Khan, who had heard about Sarfraz in Pakistan, said: “Really sorry to hear about this news. I have not played with him in Pakistan. May God give his family the strength to bear this loss.” Fellow cricketers in Pakistan remember him as a left-handed batsman who bowled slow left-arm orthodox spin.

Sarfraz played between 1998 and 1995. He then went on to coach youngsters in Peshawar till 2000.

The 50-year-old had been on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Peshawar for the last three days, ESPNCricinfo reported.