Razzaq throws weight behind Sarfraz as Pakistan captain

Former Pakistan all-rounder heaped praise on wicketkeeper-batsman’s leadership skills

Razzaq throws weight behind Sarfraz as Pakistan captain PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has said that Sarfraz Ahmed is the perfect choice to lead Pakistan.

While speaking in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Razzaq said Sarfraz’s leadership skills have been instrumental in forming a well-knit unit.

“Sarfraz is the ideal person to lead Pakistan,” said Razzaq. “If he was not the captain, the team would have been in a lot of trouble. He has kept a cordial atmosphere inside the dressing room through his good leadership skills.”

The 39-year-old — who claimed close to 400 wickets and accumulated over 7000 runs in Test cricket — also believes that the current lot of Pakistan cricketer are selfish — in terms of their performances.

“Right now I feel that players are being selfish with their performances, which is why the team as a whole is not performing well. This is evident from our rankings in Test cricket and ODI cricket,” he said. “Players seem satisfied with their performance despite the team not doing well.”

Razzaq also criticised the current Pakistan coaching staff and stressed on the need for a local head coach for the national side, instead of a foreign one.

“I think the coaches are only working as a formality and as there is no improvement in Pakistan cricket,” he said. “I believe that only former international cricketers should be handed over coaching duties as that person is better equipped to fine tune the skills of young cricketers because of their experience of playing the game internationally.”

He added: “I think the coach of the Pakistan team should be a local cricketer with experience of playing international cricket.”

The current bowling coach of Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators also showed his desire about formally stepping into the coaching role.

“I’m keen on stepping into a coaching role and transfer my experience to youngsters, especially from under 9 to under 19 level players. I have done level two coaching course from England as well,” he said. “Also I’m associated with Quetta Gladiators as bowling coach.”

While speaking about his playing days, Razzaq admitted that taking part in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) was a mistake. 

“Back in 2007, playing ICL was a mistake but then we apologised and came back in the national fray,” he said. “I had a lot of cricket left in me at that time but change of coaches and chairman stopped my career from progressing smoothly.”

He also shed light on his relationship with former Pakistan coach and bowling great Waqar Younis: “It becomes difficult when your coach does not like you and that is why I was unable to play for Pakistan. But that is in the past now and I’m looking forward to my future as a coach.”