Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat believes Sarfaraz Ahmed was made a “scapegoat” after the national team’s loss to Sri Lanka.
Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in their Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in Lahore, and Arafat feels that it is unfair all the blame was placed on Sarfaraz.
On Friday, Sarfaraz was sacked as Test and T20 captain, with Azhar Ali and Babar Azam replacing him in the longest and shortest formats respectively.
Arafat pointed out that removing Sarfaraz as Test captain may be a good thing in the long run, but added that there was no reason to strip him of the Twenty20 captaincy.
“Whilst his removal from captaincy for Tests has some merit, I feel that the decision to relieve Sarfaraz of the T20 captaincy is simply a case of finding a scapegoat for the humiliating loss to Sri Lanka in the T20 series,” Arafat wrote in his blog for PakPassion. “To me, this points to some haste in decisions by the PCB, similar to how they have tinkered with the domestic set-up, the adverse effects of which will be felt by next year.
“The pressure that PCB felt after the loss to Sri Lanka in the T20 series needed to be diverted away from them and Sarfaraz Ahmed was easy prey. The new coaching staff could not have been held responsible for this loss as the PCB themselves had chosen them recently so in order to alleviate the anger of the media and the public, they put the blame on Sarfaraz and duly removed him as captain of the T20 side.
“I feel that this was an unfair decision and very harsh on Sarfaraz, who in my view should have been retained as T20 captain based on his previous services to the nation. He had been sharp-minded as a captain in T20s and has been a street-smart cricketer and to add insult to injury, he has also been removed from the T20 side as well. The T20 World Cup is fast approaching and we have a new captain at the helm, which isn’t a smart move by the PCB.”