New captain says he will work to invoke team’s fighting spirit to ensure they deliver.
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday announced Sarfraz Ahmed as new captain of its Twenty20 team after Shahid Afridi stepped down following his side’s humiliating early exit from the World Twenty20.
A statement on the PCB website described Ahmed—who led the Quetta Gladiators to the final in Pakistan’s first-ever franchise-based T20 league in February—as a “natural choice” for the position. “I spoke to Sarfraz this morning and conveyed to him that he was our natural choice for this position. His appointment is open-ended. I wish him good luck in his new role,” it quoted PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan as saying.
Afridi resigned as captain Sunday after his team’s exit from the tournament’s group stage.
Ahmed, a right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman who has played 21 T20 internationals and the same number of Test matches, as well as 58 one-day internationals, said he will invoke the team’s fighting spirit. “We will play good cricket,” the 28-year-old told reporters after his appointment was announced.
He showered praise on the outgoing captain Afridi, subject of some of the most scathing criticism in the wake of the team’s performance in India.
“I haven’t seen a megastar like Afridi in my cricketing career. He has served Pakistan cricket for 20 years,” Ahmed said.
Head coach Waqar Younis resigned Monday following Pakistan’s disastrous performance in the World Twenty20. The 2009 champions were widely criticized for a lackluster performance in India, with just one victory against Bangladesh and big losses to India, New Zealand and Australia.