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Pakistan cricket set for transitional phase as challenging Australia tour looms

PCB has named new captains for, both, Test and T20I sides

PHOTO: AAP

Pakistan cricket is set to go through a transitional phase ahead of the upcoming challenging tour of Australia.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had sacked wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain, on Friday, from all formats and named Babar Azam and Azhar Ali as his replacement in T20Is and Test matches, respectively. Whilst captaincy for the ODIs will be finalised in due course as the national team’s next assignment is scheduled from July 4-9, 2020 against the Netherlands in Amstelveen.

Sarfaraz has also been dropped from the side ahead of Australia tour and has been asked by the PCB to regain form in domestic cricket before, inorder to be a part of the side in the future.

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PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan had offered Sarfaraz to step down from captaincy, instead of being sacked by the board but the latter decided against doing so.

The board and Misbahul Haq, who is the team’s head coach-cum-chief selector, realise the fact that winning in Australia is going to be a stiff ask, which is why they are willing to give new faces a chance during the series so that they can resort to the ‘transitional phase’ excuse, even if they lose during their tour down under.

Pakistan will play Australia in two Tests in Brisbane (November 21-25) and Adelaide (November 29-December 3 (d/n)) before hosting Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for two Tests each.

Pakistan are also scheduled to play three T20Is each against Australia (November 3, 5 and 8) and Bangladesh before the curtain falls on their international domestic season in early February 2020.