Sarfaraz Ahmed took over the captaincy of the Pakistan cricket team following the retirement of Misbah ul Haq. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Pakistan Cricket is in the midst of some interesting changes following the changes to the captaincy on Friday. Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as the Test and Twenty20 International skipper and the Pakistan Cricket Board appointed Azhar Ali as the new Test captain and Babar Azam as the Twenty20 International skipper. The immediate task for the two individuals will be the upcoming tour of Australia, where Pakistan will play three Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests in November. The two Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championships.
However, in what can be termed as a case of severely bad timing, the PCB's official Twitter handle did a major goof-up. Following the announcement of Sarfaraz being sacked as the skipper, the PCB Twitter handle uploaded a video where players were dancing. Fakhar Zaman is seen doing the Bhangra. The tweet was removed and the PCB out out an apology.
"The PCB apologies for this post and accepts the timing of it was wrong. This was a pre-planned post as part of the one-year to go #T20WorldCup promotional campaign. The timing of this post clashed with the captaincy announcement for which the PCB offers its regrets," the PCB wrote.
Sarfaraz's sacking came in the aftermath of Pakistan getting whitewashed 3-0 in the recent Twenty20 International series by a second-string Sri Lanka side missing some of their key players. This was the first time since 2015 that Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in T20Is and it was the first loss for Sarfaraz as skipper of the Pakistan team.
Sarfaraz took over the captaincy following the retirement of Misbah ul Haq and he led in 13 Tests, winning four but losing eight Tests. Sarfaraz's high point came in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy when he led Pakistan to victory in the final against India but since then, he has endured a torrid time. Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in the Tests against South Africa and in the same series, Sarfaraz was banned for four games for a racist taunt against Andile Phehlukwayo.
In a PCB release, Azhar Ali hailed Sarfaraz's contribution. "Sarfaraz has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players and I now look forward to inspiring those skillful players in our endeavours to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond," Azhar said in a statement.