Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq is of the opinion that the Pakistan team management erred by prematurely removing Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain of the side. Inzamam believes that the selectors stripped Sarfaraz as captain just at the time when he was starting to learn from his mistakes.
After making his debut as a 20-year-old in 2007, Sarfaraz Ahmed had to wait for 7 years to become a regular feature in the Pakistan national side, but once he did so, the wicket-keeper batsman did not look back. A combination of his consistency with the bat and his phlegmatism on the field impressed the selectors instantly and prior to the 2017 Champions Trophy, Sarfaraz took over as the side’s ODI captain. He then became an instant cult hero by leading the side to the Champions Trophy title in 2017, with Pakistan beating arch-rival India in the final, and in a few months’ time, the Men in Green ran riot in the T20I format, as they stayed atop of the rankings for well over a year.
However, things started to tumble post 2018 and in stark contrast to his first two years as captain, Sarfaraz struggled big-time - both as a batsman and as a leader. A first-round exit in the 2019 World Cup added to his woes and the final nail in the coffin was a 3-0 T20I whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka at home in late 2019, after which the wicket-keeper batsman was removed as skipper across all formats.
The decision has, till date, been received with mixed views by experts and one person who has now come in support of Sarfaraz is former Pakistan skipper and former chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq. According to Inzamam, the Pakistan management removed Sarfaraz as captain at the wrong time, just when he was starting to learn from his mistakes.
"Even in the last World Cup, I felt the captain and players were under pressure because they were thinking if we don't do well in the tournament we will be out. That environment was created and this is not good for cricket," Inzamam said, reported Times Now.
"Sarfaraz achieved some notable victories for Pakistan and was learning to be a good captain but unfortunately when he had learnt from experience and mistakes he was removed as captain.”
Inzamam, a former captain himself, whose last appearance for Pakistan came in the infamous 2007 World Cup, opined that the selectors were ‘hasty’ with their decision to sack Sarfaraz. The 50-year-old stated that the right-hander must have been given more time and further attested that every captain will learn only by making mistakes.
"Sarfaraz won us the Champions Trophy and also made the team number one in T20 cricket. He got us some good wins. He should have been given more time as captain by the board but it acted in haste and didn't give him confidence or patience."
"But a captain learns all this with time. There is no shortcut to it."
Despite stripping him of his captaincy, the selectors have continued to include the 33-year-old in their plans and recently named him in Pakistan’s 28-man squad to tour England.