Despite controversy surrounding his racial remark in South Africa and his subsequent four-match match, Sarfraz Ahmed will lead Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales, the country’s cricket board said on Tuesday.
Ehsan Mani, Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman, left no doubts over Pakistan’s captaincy in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding Ahmed and South Africa’s Andille Phehlukwayo.
“Sarfaraz has been an integral part of the Pakistan’s World Cup preparations. He has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer,” Mani said on Tuesday. “He led Pakistan to the Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to top of the ICC T20I rankings.”
Mani also confirmed that Sarfraz’s position as captain will only be re-evaluated after the World Cup.
The International Cricket Council had banned Ahmed for four matches – two one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals – of the South African tour.
The Pakistan Cricket Board had expressed disappointment over the punishment – saying it believed a ban was unnecessary because the matter had already been resolved between the two players – and withdrew the Pakistan captain from the tour.
“I feel humbled and honoured to be placed in the same bracket as some of the most iconic and legendary cricketers who have previously captained Pakistan at World Cups,” Ahmed said in the statement released by the board. “It is the dream of any international cricketer to play in a World Cup, but to be appointed captain in the biggest cricket spectacle on the planet is something that is extremely special.”
“The reality is that the last few weeks have been extremely difficult for me as a person and professional. But I am delighted that the PCB has reassured its confidence and faith in me. It has boosted my confidence tremendously.”
Pakistan were the winners of the Champions Trophy in 2017 in England, and will be looking to recreate that run in the World Cup too.
“I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with a committed support staff in the dressing room. Everyone is geared up and keenly looking forward to returning to the country where we won the last major ICC tournament,” Ahmed said.