Dubai: Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed is likely to lose his captaincy in at least one of the game’s formats. Although the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) hasn’t officially made a statement, its Cricket Committee meeting in Lahore on August 2 is expected to take certain decisions including split captaincy for the Pakistan team.
Safaraz’s future as captain was hanging in balance since Pakistan’s unimpressive show in the recent World Cup. He was accused by many as unfit and was even seen yawning during matches.
Pakistan were one of the favourites to win the World Cup but finished fifth in the table, failing to even make it to the semi-finals. Though it was under Sarfaraz that Pakistan won the 2017 Champions Trophy in England, he could not steer the team to more victories.
The chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, whose term as chief selector officially ends on Wednesday, was a supporter of Sarfaraz. According to sources, Pakistan will have a new Test team captain and also a captain for One-day and T20 teams.
Discussions are on whether to give an extension for their coach Mickey Arthur. It is understood that the committee has already decided to extend his contract until the ICC T20 World Cup next year. If Arthur is retained as coach then Sarfaraz may at least be given the captaincy for one of the formats.
There are also plans to appoint Azhar Ali as the Test team captain and retain Sarfaraz as captain for ODI and T20 formats. This is basically because the PCB wants to prove that they believe in continuity in captaincy especially in the light of the upcoming T20 World Cup. There is huge support for consistent batsman Babar Azam to be also considered for captaincy but he is likely to be made vice captain for all three formats with an eye to groom him as a future captain.
Many other names too have surfaced to become skipper. Shan Mashood, who lead the National Bank team in domestic cricket, is another name that has cropped up. Imad Wasim’s name is also doing the rounds.
Arthur is expected to back Wasim if Sarfaraz does not get the nod to continue as captain. Meanwhile, the PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan has said that the successor to Inzamam as chief selector will be announced soon.
Pakistan will play Sri Lanka in a two-match Test series in October and it could be a new captain that would be leading the Pakistan team. Efforts are on to play the series in Sri Lanka but if the security examination by the Sri Lanka officials fail, then the series will be held in UAE. England security officials are also touring Pakistan to examine possibilities of staging the series there.