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Wahab Riaz, the left-arm fast bowler, believes Sarfaraz Ahmed was the “one of the sharpest captains” he played under and ranked him above Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq.
Sarfaraz used to lead the men in green in all three formats and achieved a lot during his tenure, including winning the Champions Trophy in 2017 and helping Pakistan become the number one T20I team in the world.
“Look, captaincy is a different thing. I played in Shoaib Malik’s captaincy then in Shahid Afridi’s captaincy, Misbah’s captaincy and Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy. I think one of the sharpest captains of them all was Sarfaraz,” Wahab was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“And I think the most sensible thinking captain was Misbah-ul-Haq while Shoaib bhai and Shahid were somebody who used to support the players a lot.”
Wahab pointed out that since he barely played under current captain Babar Azam, it is hard for him to assess what kind of leader the 28-year-old is.
“I got quite minimal time with Babar. Obviously, he was in his learning phase at that time but I think if I had to rate somebody then I would say Sarfaraz was one of the best captains,” he added.
Sarfaraz recently played in Pakistan’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka and scored 32 runs at an average of 16. He was replaced by Mohammad Rizwan midway through the second Test in Colombo after being hit on the helmet.
The 36-year-old was not included in Pakistan’s squad for the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan or the Asia Cup.
Pakistan began their Asia Cup campaign with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India after their game was rained off.
Having booked their spot in the Super Fours, the men in green defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets.
They subsequently suffered their first loss as India crushed them by 228 runs, but still had a chance to make it to the Asia Cup final.
However, this didn’t happen as Pakistan ended up losing to Sri Lanka by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir