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Sarfaraz confident about leading Pakistan in 2019 World Cup

Suspended Pakistan captain is currently serving a four-match ban

Sarfaraz confident about leading Pakistan in 2019 World Cup PHOTO COURTESY: Associated Press

Suspended Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed is hopeful about captaining Pakistan during the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

Sarfaraz was banned for four-matches by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his racial slur against South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, during the second ODI between the two sides.  

While speaking in a press conference at the Southend Club in Karachi — during the innings break of the third and final T20I between Pakistan Women and West Indies Women — Sarfaraz said that he was optimistic about leading Pakistan in the future, after serving his ban.

“I’m positive about making a comeback and continue to lead Pakistan in the future which includes the World Cup but that decision will be made by the PCB,” said Sarfaraz.

The wicketkeeper-batsman conceded that his habit of speaking from behind the stumps is difficult to change.  

“Speaking from behind the stumps is a normal thing for me and this is something which is difficult to change,” he said. “I try to buck up the entire team through this and If I stop doing that, it will hamper our performance.”  

Sarfaraz also shared details about his in person apology to the South Africa all-rounder by stating: “Phehlukwayo thought that I said something bad about his mother but I explained to him that this was not the case.”

He was also not bothered with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s decision to call him back from the South Africa tour early, despite being available for the final T20I of the series against South Africa.

“After the four-match ban, it was pointless for me to stay in South Africa,” he said.

Sarfaraz also thanked the West Indies Women’s team for visiting Pakistan and considered it as a good omen for Pakistan cricket.

“I’m thankful to West Indies Women’s team for touring Pakistan,” he said. “This is a good sign for Pakistan cricket.”

When asked about team’s fast-bowling combination at the World Cup, Sarfaraz said the best possible group of pacers will be selected.

“We will select five best fast-bowlers for the World Cup,” he said. “Junaid Khan is still part of our World Cup plans while Amir was earlier dropped from the side due to his bad performance.”

Sarfaraz also brushed aside the notion that he had any reservations about the inclusion of out of favour Pakistan batsmen — Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal — in the Quetta Gladiators squad, for the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League.

“I have no issue with that as they are world class players,” he said. “Both of them have played under my captaincy in the past.”