Sarfaraz Ahmed overlooked a period as Pakistan captain when the lowest ranked-side in the 2017 Champions Trophy went on to clinch the title. The wicket-keeper batsman, born on this day in Karachi, 1987, turned 33 on Friday. He saw a downward slope in his career after the 2019 World Cup exit.
Sarfaraz Ahmed lost his T20I and Test captaincy after Pakistan were whitewashed 0-3 in the shortest format at home against Sri Lanka. Recently, Babar Azam was named as the ODI captain over him, as he was also demoted to ‘Category B’ in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) central contract for 2020-21 season.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: As a player
Sarfaraz Ahmed was the first captain after Imran Khan to win a 50-over world title for Pakistan. He had rose to fame after leading the U-19 side to World Cup triumph in 2006 though it required time for him to establish himself in the national team. Sarfaraz Ahmed was not a fiery batsman and his initial abilities to sustain in the side as a specialist were questioned.
It took Sarfaraz Ahmed years to hog the limelight with his 74-run knock against Sri Lanka in the second innings in Dubai. It helped him establish his place as a wicket-keeper batsman in the team. He was handed over the ODI reigns in 2017, with the year proving to be fruitful for the side with their Champion Trophy triumph, under his focused captaincy.
Ahmed has contributed decently across formats for Pakistan. He averages 36.39 in the longest format, scored 2302 runs at an average of 33.85 in the ODIs and has an average of 28 in the shortest format.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: What is he up to now
Sarfaraz Ahmed last plied his trade in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in 2020 and despite the demotion in contract he remains one of the senior member of the side. Pakistan are supposed to tour England at the end of July, it remains to be seen if Ahmed finds a place in the Test side.
Sarfaraz Ahmed: Lesser known facts
In 2018, Sarfaraz Ahmed became the third youngest cricket to be awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest honour and civilian award in the State of Pakistan. He was born to family which owned a printing press business. Incidentally, his ancestors were from Uttar Pradesh in India and his father died in 2006.
His valuable contribution came in the U-19 World Cup where he led the Pakistan side to a triumph over India in a low-scoring match. He has won the PCB’s outstanding player of the year in 2017 and spirit of cricket award in 2018.