Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has lost his job as the captain of the Pakistan T20I and Test team ahead of the forthcoming tour of Australia. He has also lost his place in the team after a string of low scores in both the formats. While Azhar Ali has been named the captain of the Pakistan team in Test matches, Babar Azam has been given the responsibility of leading the team in the shortest format of the game.

It is worth highlighting that Azhar’s appointment as captain lasts till the first cycle of ICC World Test Championships which lasts in 2021. On the other hand, Babar Azam will lead the team in the shortest format at least until the T20 World Cup scheduled in Australia next year.

The sacking of Sarfaraz comes after he had failed to prove himself as a leader in the recent past. Under him, Pakistan are ranked number 7 in Test matches at the moment. In theT20I series too, Pakistan suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at home against a Sri Lankan team which was playing without some of its top stars.

The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ehasn Mani, stated that the decision to sack Sarfaraz from two formats was a “difficult” one.

“It has been a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and a leader,” the PCB chairman said in a statement released by them.

“But, his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been decided to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from international cricket.

“Sarfaraz Ahmed’s contributions are second to none and being the gutsy cricketer and fighter that we all know he is, I have no doubts he will be back in Pakistan colours at some stage,” he added.

Pakistan, however, have performed reasonably well in 50 overs cricket under his leadership. After failing to qualify for the knockout stage because of their inferior net run rate, they have beaten Sri Lanka 2-0 in a home series.

“It has been an honour to lead Pakistan at the highest level. I want to thank all my colleagues, coaches and selectors who have helped me in this journey. My good wishes are with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and the Pakistan cricket team, and I hope they will continue to grow stronger and stronger,” Sarfaraz said.