Sarfraz not to replace Azhar: PCB

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday refused speculations that Sarfraz Ahmed will replace Azhar Ali as captain of the One Day team.

Some reports said PCB was likely to appoint Sarfraz as the ODI captain after seeing his performance in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20.

Azhar led Lahore Qalandars in the league which was unable to qualify for the play-offs while Sarfraz headed Quetta Gladiators which was the tournament’s runner-up.

Reports also revealed that after the retirement of Twenty-20 skipper Shahid Afridi, Sarfraz will also lead the green-shirts in that format of the game.

PCB Chief Selector Haroon Rasheed contradicted the report. “This report is totally baseless and does not have any weight in it.”

Speaking about Afridi who has again taken a U-turn from his retirement decision, Haroon said it is a player’s prerogative to retire from the game or not. “We cannot force anyone to retire or not,” he said.

Earlier former chief Selector Abdul Qadir said that PCB needs to set rules for a player’s retirement. “If a player wants retirement from cricket then he should be made to give it in writing to the PCB so that if in the near future he thinks of taking a u-turn the PCB should not allow him to do so.”

Haroon said rules like this could not framed “as this goes on in every cricketing country but if a captain or a player does not perform in the team then automatically he won’t be selected.

He further said that Ahmed Shahzad was not in form but will be selected in future if he performs well.

Talking about the much-anticipated Pakistan-India clash on Saturday,he said it will be a very tough contest and Pakistan will have to play with all its energies to beat the Indians. “Indian team is doing well and it will be a very tough contest,” he said.