Azhar Ali quits Pakistan’s ODI captaincy, Sarfraz Ahmed to replace him

By: | Updated: February 9, 2017 4:17 PM

Azhar Ali faced a lot of criticism after Pakistan's dismal performance against Australia when they lost the series 4-1 last month.

Azhar Ali, Azhar, Azhar Ali quits, Sarfraz Ahmed, Sarfraz, Pakistan cricket team, cricket news, sports news Azhar Ali has resigned as Pakistan?s ODI captain. (Source: Reuters)

After days of speculation and debates, Pakistan’s ODI captain Azhar Ali has resigned from the post and the T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmed will replace him as the new leader. Azhar Ali faced a lot of criticism after Pakistan’s dismal performance against Australia when they lost the series 4-1 last month. The top-order batsman said that he took the decision because he wants to focus on his batting.

The decision was taken in a meeting in Dubai where Azhar met PCB chairman Shahryar Khan to inform him about the decision to step down from the captaincy. He started this tenure in 2015 after Misbah ul Haq retired from ODIs. Even then, Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez were the leading contenders but selectors decided to give the responsibility to Azhar who had not played a single ODI for more than 2 years.

He was also named Misbah’s deputy in the longer format and was determined to take Pakistan cricket to new heights. Right before the Australia tour, Azhar became the first batsman to score a triple-century against the pink ball when he tormented West Indian bowlers for 11 hours and struck 302 not out at Dubai.

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Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz is already the national team’s T20I captain and was also the vice-captain of the ODI team. So, he was the obvious choice to take over the role. Sarfraz emerged as a good candidate after helping his domestic side to the Pakistan Super League (PSL) title last year.

In last few years, Pakistan have failed to produce great leaders and have tried a number of options like Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez. But, none of them were able to produce the desired results.

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