Pakistan on Friday retained Sarfaraz Ahmed as skipper for the upcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka despite a clean-up after a poor World Cup that saw the exit of head coach Mickey Arthur. The South Asian side failed to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup this year, forcing the cricket board to not renew Arthur’s contract and also show the door to bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden.
There was speculation that the captaincy could be taken away from Ahmed, but the Pakistan Cricket Board announced at a press conference that he will lead the side in the one-day and Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka later this month. PCB chairman Ehsan Mani added that Babar Azam has been appointed vice captain in a bid to groom him for future leadership roles.
Ahmed, 34, led Pakistan to victory in the Champions Trophy two years ago, but they have since lost 24 of their 47 ODIs, winning 20 with three no-results. The 24-year-old Babar, meanwhile, has been Pakistan’s best batsman in limited-overs cricket recently.
Mani also stressed that the Sri Lankan team is still set to tour Pakistan, after saying earlier this week that the Sri Lankan board is looking for security assurances from their government. “We are confident that the series will be held in Pakistan,” Mani said.
The ODIs will be played in Karachi on September 27, 29 and October 3, while the three T20s are scheduled for Lahore on October 5, 7 and 9.