Miandad hails Sarfraz’s appointment as captain for World Cup

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LAHORE: Legendary batsman Javed Miandad and former Test cricketer Mohammad Ilyas have hailed Pakistan Cricket Board’s recent decision of appointing Sarfraz Ahmed as captain till this year’s World Cup being staged in England and Wales.

Talking to Dawn on Saturday, former Pakistan skipper Miandad reckoned except for the racist-remark episode in South Africa Sarfraz has led the team well.

“Yes Sarfraz committed a wrong act [of passing a racist remark against an opponent player] in South Africa for which he faced the punishment too otherwise, he is doing a good job as skipper,” Miandad said. “Moreover, frankly speaking Pakistan currently does not have a good number of options as far as the captaincy is concerned. The PCB should seriously think to address this issue in order to avoid any awkward situation in future,” the 124-Test Miandad, who also worked as Pakistan coach, underlined.

Commenting on the controversy that emerged in the wake of Sarfraz’s amiss remark against South African all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo during the ODI in Durban, Miandad reckoned Sarfraz’s mistake should not be treated as a major crime while taking into consideration the history of wrongdoings committed by a number of previous Pakistan cricketers.

Meanwhile lauding the PCB decision on national captaincy, Ilyas said Sarfraz was a hard working professional committed to his job, both as captain as well as wicket-keeper.

“Now Sarfraz will be in a [more] comfortable frame of mind to focus on the tough ODI series against Australia and England before the World Cup,” Ilyas said.

“The five-match ODI series against England in England will be a golden opportunity for Pakistan players to prepare themselves better for the World Cup,” former chief selector Ilyas noted.

The 10-nation mega event will be staged from May 30 to July 14.