Pakistan have stripped Sarafraz Ahmed from leadership roles across formats after an overall dip in his performance. The apex body now has bestowed the responsibilities on Azhar Ali for the Tests while Babar Azam will lead the side in the T20I format.
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They newly-appointed skippers will take over the charge from the upcoming series against Australia next month. The Men in Greens will play three T20Is each against Australia (3, 5 and 8 November) followed by two Tests starting from November 21.
Azhar Ali has been a mainstay of Pakistan’s batting line-up since making his debut against Australia at Lord’s in 2010. He has been the best in the country in the red-ball format scoring 5,669 runs including 15 centuries and 31 half-centuries from 73 Tests.
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The 34-year-old, who has captained Pakistan from 2015-17, admitted that this is a huge honour for him. Azhar Ali, who had a good tour of Australia in 2016, will hope to make a good start in his second assignment against the Aussies. This will also mark their entry into the ICC World Test Championship.
“There is no bigger honour than to captain the Pakistan national cricket team in the pinnacle format of the game. I feel humbled, excited and privileged, and with the support of the team, look forward to justifying the faith that has been entrusted upon me for the World Test Championship,” Ali said.
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Furthermore, Azhar Ali hailed departing skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for doing an outstanding job. The right-handed batsman will hope to regroup the players and take Pakistan to the ICC World Test Championship final.
“Sarfaraz Ahmed has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players and I now look forward to inspiring those skillful players in our endeavours to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond,” Ali concluded.