Sarfraz Ahmed, on Tuesday (July 4), was officially named the captain of Pakistan’s Test side. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who has been leading Pakistan in limited-overs, has been asked to take over the mantle in the longest format as well following the retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq.
Sarfraz, who had led Pakistan to Under-19 World Cup triumph in 2006, had recently taken the senior national side to their maiden Champions Trophy win, which turned out to be Pakistan’s first win in an ICC 50-over tournament since the 1992 World Cup.
Against the odds, Pakistan, who were at No 8 in the ICC Rankings and were under the threat of missing out on a direct qualification to the 2019 World Cup, beat South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and India enroute winning the championship after having suffered a heavy loss against India in the tournament opener. Sarfraz’s captaincy came in for praise from various quarters of the cricket fraternity and he was also named the captain of the Champions Trophy Team of the Tournament.
Despite poor showing in limited overs cricket in the last couple of years, Pakistan remained a dominant force in the longest format, especially at their adopted home – UAE. During this period, they also went on to become the No 1 side in Test cricket by drawing the series in England 2-2. With both Misbah and Younis Khan retiring from the game, Sarfraz will have massive shoes to fill in, especially with a young squad at his disposal.
(More to follow)