KARACHI: Former captain and wicket-keeper Moin Khan on Friday put his weight behind Pakistan’s embattled skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and called on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to give him a longer run as leader until the 2019 World Cup.
Talking to Dawn on Friday, Moin said: “Sarfraz is someone who leads from the front and gives his hundred percent for his country on the field. He was the unanimous choice of fans and critics across Pakistan to lead the team in all the three formats last year and should be given all the backing now so that he could lead with confidence and build up a competitive team for the next year’s World Cup in England.”
Moin, who is known to have mentored Sarfraz during his career and the duo enjoy fabulous camaraderie as captain and coach of the PSL outfit Quetta Gladiators, said this is not the time to criticise Sarfraz but support him.
“It is sad to see some people in the media and a few ex-players needlessly going after Sarfraz,” said Moin. “Yes Pakistan lost the ODIs in New Zealand 5-0 because conditions there were very tough and our top order batting just could not click. But the manner in which Pakistan bounced back to win the T20 series speaks of the determined individual that Sarfraz really is and the never-say-die approach that he has instilled among the boys.”
“It was this very approach of Sarfraz, that people are finding faults in, which won us the high-profile Champions Trophy in England last June where again the team bounced back after a heavy defeat against India,” recalled Moin.
“Wins and defeats are part and parcel of the game and every captain and every team experiences that. Look at India which had won so many Tests on their home soil in 2017 but lost 2-1 in South Africa. But is anyone calling for Virat Kohli’s head?
“I strongly feel that the PCB should give Sarfraz a longer run as skipper to bring the best out of him. And, of course, a similar backing for the skipper is required from coach Mickey Arthur and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq,” he said.
Moin, a brilliant, aggressive cricketer during his playing days, who now runs perhaps the most efficient of cricket academies in Karachi in DHA went on to add: “I admire Sarfraz for his aggressive style of leadership and the fighting qualities that could take Pakistan to new heights.
“All those players who have played with him and the officials who have remained closely associated with him know very well that Sarfraz just hates to lose and this is why he is so animated and vocal on the field. But he is not one to keep any grudges and enjoys complete support of his teammates.”
“All this talk of some players going against him is a load of crap. The PCB will do well to silence all such detractors by firmly putting its weight behind Sarfraz by naming him leader till the World Cup,” concluded Moin.