Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Former fast bowler Sikander Bakht has claimed that he heard wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan didn’t want to let Sarfaraz Ahmed return to the Pakistan team.
The 65-year-old revealed that he learned about this from another cricketer and noted that since the Pakistan cricket community is small and very close, word travels fast about such controversy.
It should be noted that Rizwan replaced Sarfaraz as Pakistan’s first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman when the latter was removed as captain in October 2019.
Since then Sarfaraz regularly sat on the bench and played the back-up role. However, in some cases, younger players like Mohammad Haris got the nod over him.
Just recently, however, the 35-year-old was given the opportunity to play in the two-Test series against New Zealand ahead of Rizwan and grabbed it with both hands as he scored 335 runs, which included a career-best 118 and three half-centuries, at an average of 83.75.
“I think they’ve decided that they won’t play Sarfaraz. Our cricket community is very small, so we get to know a lot of things. A cricketer, who does programmes with us, told me that Rizwan said, ‘main Sarfaraz ko kabhi aane nahi dunga’ (I won’t let Sarfaraz return to the Pakistan team),” Bakht said on Geo News as quoted by NDTV.
Rizwan will now captain the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), while Sarfaraz will lead the Quetta Gladiators.
The two wicketkeeper-batsmen will face off against each other on February 15 in Multan.
Multan Sultans Squad for PSL 8: David Miller, Josh Little, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Rilee Rossouw, Shan Masood, Akeal Hosein, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tim David, Anwar Ali, Sameen Gul, Sarwar Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan, Abbas Afridi, Ihsanullah, Adil Rashid, Arafat Minhas, Kieron Pollard, Amad Butt, Wayne Parnell and Izharulhaq Naveed
Quetta Gladiators Squad for PSL 8: Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Wanindu Hasaranga, Iftikhar Ahmed, Jason Roy, Odean Smith, Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Zahid, Naveen-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Umaid Asif, Will Smeed, Aimal Khan, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Martin Guptill, Omair Bin Yousuf, Qais Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Dwaine Pretorius, Will Jacks and Nuwan Thushara