Pakistan’s Test captain and senior batsman Azhar Ali is likely to be removed from the team leadership exactly a year later and replaced by Muhammad Rizwan as the new captain.
A year after Sarfraz Ahmed was removed from the captaincy in the corridors of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters, there are rumors that a young player will replace Azhar Ali, according to popular cricket website cricInfo.
According to the report, Mohammad Rizwan is a strong candidate for the captaincy of the Test team who is likely to lead the team in a tour of New Zealand in December.
The PCB confirmed that Azhar Ali’s one-year performance was being reviewed and that Waseem Khan, the board’s chief executive, had met Azhar Ali.
A final decision on Azhar Ali’s removal and appointment of a new captain has not yet been made, but the PCB chairman is scheduled to meet Azhar Ali in the next 10 days.
It may be recalled that the PCB had announced on October 18, 2019 that Azhar Ali would replace Sarfraz Ahmed and Babar Azam would be appointed as the captain of the T20 team.
Sarfraz Ahmed was removed from the captaincy before the tour of Australia last year, after which world number one Pakistan lost 0-3 at home against Sri Lanka in the T20.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani described the decision to remove Sarfraz Ahmed as “difficult” and said it was “in the wider interest of the team”.
Sarfraz Ahmed, who was removed from the captaincy, said that it was an honor for him to lead Pakistan. He wished Azhar Ali and Babar Azam all the best.
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Azhar Ali did not perform well after becoming the captain of the team and suffered the worst defeat in the first series against Australia, however, he played a leading innings in a rain-affected match against England in August this year. Scored a century and the match ended in a draw.
After the defeat against Australia, Azhar Ali had said that there was no fear of losing the leadership and no one, including the captain, could remain in the team without performance.
Mohammad Rizwan, on the other hand, was behind the wicket and batting well in the series, scoring a half-century in his first Test.
Muhammad Rizwan not only performed well while leading the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) team in the recent National T20 Cup, but also made the team champions.
Mohammad Rizwan was not the top priority of the board in Sarfraz Ahmed’s presence in the team as Sarfraz’s performance as captain was excellent and he was the best team in the world in T20 style.
The national team will tour New Zealand in December after hosting a short cricket series against Zimbabwe, where a Test series will also be played.