KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wished wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed good luck to lead the national side prior to their T20I match against England later today.
The 36-year-old all-rounder resigned from captaincy in the shortest format of the game after Pakistan’s poor performance in Asia Cup and World T20 tournaments forced them to an early exit.
The match at Old Trafford in Manchester, which is the last of Pakistan’s ongoing tour of England, is the first game under new T20I skipper Sarfraz.
Good decision to see @SarfarazA_54 leading PAK T-20 he is energetic, passionate and a fighter!
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 5, 2016
Speaking about the new captain, Afridi said that his prayers are always with the 29-year-old, who has performed remarkably for Pakistan. “I can tell you that not only my prayers, but the prayers of our entire nation are with Sarfraz,” he said. “The way that he is currently batting, along with his attitude is remarkable.”
Sarfraz to make captaincy bow at Old Trafford
He added: “Sarfraz has had a good strike rate in the ODIs against England, and I think if he continues to maintain this strike rate, then it would be beneficial for him as well as the team.”
The former captain also praised Sarfraz’s leadership qualities from what he has seen while playing domestic cricket.
“I have seen him captain in domestic games and he has an aggressive attitude,” said Afridi. “He plays attacking cricket which is required in this form of the game.”
Earlier, Sarfraz said that he was ‘excited’ to lead Pakistan on the international stage and was hoping for a tour ending win against England.
Sarfraz grateful for Misbah inspiration
“I am really excited about the captaincy,” he told a news conference at Old Trafford on Tuesday. “Representing the country is a big achievement, but I am really excited to lead. We will be playing positive cricket tomorrow and hopefully emerge victorious.”
Previously, current ODI captain Azhar Ali also lauded Sarfraz for his ‘exceptional’ performance, after the wicketkeeper-batsman scored 90 runs to help his side to a four-wicket win over England in Cardiff on Sunday.
“The way Sarfraz batted, this whole tour he’s been exceptional,” said Azhar following a much-needed win. “He’s been positive and scoring good runs at number five, so we’ve got some good performances but we just need to bind it together.”
The 29-year-old, who also scored Pakistan’s first ODI hundred at Lord’s in the second match of the series, was the leading overall run-scorer with exactly 300 at an average of 60.
Courtesy : Express Tribune