Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has confirmed that Sarfaraz Ahmed had reservations over playing final T20I during the England series. The former Pakistan captain also confirmed that the wicketkeeper-batsman did not refuse to play the game but was reluctant.
As per reports, Sarfaraz Ahmed was concerned that his tour would be judged on the basis of just one game. The ex-Pakistan skipper was named in the Test and T20I squads for the England tour after being dropped and sacked as captain last year.
But with Mohammad Rizwan performing well, Sarfaraz Ahmed had to warm the bench throughout the Test series as well as the first two T20Is. Pakistan’s team-management finally gave him a chance to play in the third and final T20I but he was not too keen to play the game.
It was only after captain Babar Azam, Misbah-ul-Haq and batting coach Younis Khan convinced him, he agreed to play. The team-management asked the veteran to play the match without any pressure before he agreed to take the wicketkeeping duties.
“He didn’t refuse to play but raised genuine reservations over being asked to play in the last match of the tour,” Misbah-ul-Haq told ESPNcricinfo.
“The situation naturally gives you a concern and that’s fair because he thought that a dip in his performance may get us to judge him going forward. Babar, Younis and I spoke with him and told him that he did well on the tour and he should play one game without any additional pressure. There was a need for clarity and we communicated effectively with him well before the game,” he added.
Pakistan went on to win the game which was their only victory on the tour but Sarfaraz Ahmed did not get the opportunity to impress. He did not get the chance to bat and could not affect any dismissal from behind the stumps either. He, however, faced some criticism for missing an easy chance to stump Moeen Ali.