Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Source: Twitter)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Friday, removed Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain across formats. The decision comes in the wake of Pakistan’s latest debacle this year as they were whitewashed at home in a three-match T20I series by a second-string Sri Lankan side. Pakistan’s performance this year has been nothing less than disastrous.

The year began with a forgettable tour of South Africa where they were whitewashed in Tests before losing the ODIs and the T20Is too. Australia then inflicted a humiliating 5-0 whitewash over the Men in Green in ODIs although Sarfaraz Ahmed was not a part of the series. Pakistan then lost an ODI series to England 4-0 before losing to Afghanistan in the World Cup warm-up game.

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Their performance in the World Cup was also poor. They did finish the tournament strongly but the damage was already done as they bowed out at the league stage. And throughout this lean phase, Sarfaraz Ahmed failed to inspire his teammates with his batting.

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Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed. Credits – AFP

What made things even worse for the former Pakistan captain is his poor fitness. All hell broke lose when he was seen yawning while India were cruising against Pakistan in the World Cup game. After the defeat, Sarfaraz Ahmed and his teammates became the butt of all jokes with fans criticising the players’ fitness and their training regime.

In 18 ODIs this year, Sarfaraz Ahmed crossed the fifty-run mark only twice with both of them coming in losing causes. In T20Is, he has managed 67 runs in 4 outings while in 2 Tests, he has scored 112 runs this year.

The finest moment in Sarfaraz’s captaincy career will undoubtedly be the triumph in the 2017 Champions Trophy. The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side defied all the odds and exceeded all the expectations to win the competition. It was Pakistan’s first 50-over global tournament since their triumph in the 1992 World Cup. He also led Pakistan to number one ranking in T20Is.

Overall, he led Pakistan in 50 ODIs and scored 804 runs with the help of 5 fifties. Out of those 50 games, he led Pakistan to win in 28 of them. In Tests, he led his country to 4 wins out of 13 matches while in T20Is, Pakistan won 29 out of 37 games.

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Meanwhile, Sarfaraz has also been dropped from the side ahead of Australia tour and has been asked by the PCB to regain form in domestic cricket. As per media reports, Azhar Ali is set to take over Pakistan’s Test reigns with wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan to serve as his deputy.