Retain Sarfraz as captain till T20 World Cup: Zaheer Abbas

'The board should adopt the policy of appointing captains for a longer term,' he said.

September 25, 2019
Photo: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Former Test captain Zaheer Abbas on Wednesday urged Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint Sarfraz Ahmed captain of the national side for a long term period as it would put positive impacts on team’s performance.

“I believe that instead of appointing a captain on series to series basis, the board should adopt the policy of appointing captains for a longer term.

The board should have named Sarfraz as captain at least till next year’s 2020 Twenty20 World Cup,” he told APP.

The 2020 T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15.

The PCB had retained Sarfaraz as captain while Babar Azam was named his deputy for three ODI and as many Twenty20s against Sri Lanka, to be held from September 27 to October 9 in Karachi and Lahore, respectively.

The ODIs would take place in Karachi on September 27, September 29 and October 2, while T20 matches would be held in Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.

The Asian Bradman, who received the Pride of Performance Award in 1971, said Sarfraz had showed good captaincy skills in the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

“Though Pakistan team failed to qualify for the semifinals, the players had put up a good show in the extravaganza under Sarfraz’s captaincy,” he said.

New Zealand had qualified for the semi-finals with Australia, India and England, when Pakistan failed to improve its net run-rate.

“After losing to India in the 2019 World Cup match, Pakistan team gained momentum and outclassed teams of England and New Zealand in the mega event,” he said.

Abbas, who had two stints as captain of the national team in 1981 and 1984, said PCB should stop doing experiments and must focus on long term planning.

“Sarfraz should also improve his individual performance with the bat to firm his place for the captaincy,” he said.

Abbas, who became ICC president in 2015, also lauded the Sri Lanka team for touring Pakistan.

“It was a great achievement of PCB and now the focus must be in bringing the world’s top teams like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England to Pakistan as their one visit here can help revive international cricket in the country once and for all,” he said.

“We have great chances of winning the series but PCB’s focus should be on the next year’s T20 World Cup and players should be included in the squad accordingly,” he said.

Speaking about head coach and chief selector Misbah ul Haq’s first assignment which is the series against Sri Lanka, Zaheer said PCB must renew or extend the former skipper’s contract as per his performance on series to series basis.c