T20 and ODI cap­tain Sar­fraz to lead Pak­istan in Tests

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Pak­istan Cricket Board has ap­pointed Sar­fraz Ahmed as Test cap­tain af­ter the wick­et­keeper-bats­man led the na­tional team to a sur­prise tri­umph at the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy tour­na­ment in Eng­land last month.

PCB chair­man Sha­har­yar Khan an­nounced the de­ci­sion yes­ter­day dur­ing a cer­e­mony to honor the win­ning team at the prime min­is­ter’s res­i­dence in Is­lam­abad. Ahmed al­ready leads Pak­istan in Twen­ty20s and ODIs. He has played 36 test matches since mak­ing his de­but in 2010, scor­ing 2,089 runs at an av­er­age of 40.96 with three cen­turies and 13 half cen­turies.

Khan said he in­formed Ahmed about the PCB’s de­ci­sion just be­fore yes­ter­day’s cer­e­mony. “I talked to him when we were com­ing here and he said ‘I am ready to serve Pak­istan,’” Khan said.

Pak­istan, ranked No. 8 in the eight-team Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, routed archri­val and de­fend­ing cham­pion In­dia by 180 runs in the fi­nal.

Pak­istan easily lost its open­ing group game against In­dia but made a strong come­back with fast bowler Hasan Ali and open­ing bats­man Fakhar Za­man play­ing piv­otal roles.

Ali took 13 wick­ets in the tour­na­ment and Za­man scored two half cen­turies and a cen­tury in the fi­nal. Pak­istan went on to beat South Africa and Sri Lanka in the re­main­ing two group matches be­fore hu­mil­i­at­ing ti­tle fa­vorite Eng­land in the semi­fi­nals.

“I watched the whole match (fi­nal),” Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif told play­ers and of­fi­cials at the re­cep­tion. Khan said he would like to see In­dia play­ing against Pak­istan in a bi­lat­eral se­ries.

“We chal­lenge you to come and play (but) they don’t play against us be­cause they are afraid of us,” Khan claimed. “I think bi­lat­eral cricket will be good for us and will ben­e­fit cricket.”— AP

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