Sarfaraz's comeback could be a double-edged sword for Pakistan team: Inzamam

The 50-year-old also has a bone to pick with wicketkeeper for accepting a ‘B’ category central contract

Sarfaraz's comeback could be a double-edged sword for Pakistan team: Inzamam PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan cricketer Inzamamul Haq believes wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed’s comeback could prove to be a double-edged sword for the Pakistan team.

Sarfaraz was named in the 29-member squad announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the upcoming tour of England. Pakistan is scheduled to take on the home side in three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), which will be played in August-September.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam cautioned the Pakistan team management about the impact the former captain’s return can have on the dressing room environment.

"They will have to be careful about the dressing room environment. If they give confidence to Sarfaraz, then it can be beneficial for the team. Since Babar is a new captain and Azhar Ali is also not as experienced as Sarfaraz, so Sarfaraz can give suggestions and guide the new captain. But if you don’t give him confidence, then it can make your dressing room environment quite tense," said Inzamam.

"Since Babar played under Sarfaraz’s captaincy, so there can be pressure on Babar as well. Similarly, those players that have played under Sarfaraz, can also come under pressure," he added.

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The 50-year-old also has a bone to pick with Sarfaraz for accepting a ‘B’ category central contract offered by the board.

"PCB should have either put Sarfaraz in ‘A’ category or they should have not offered him the contract at all," he said. "I have a small complaint with Sarfaraz as well. You should think about your stature yourself. Sarfaraz should have refused the central contract. He should have performed first and then should have asked the board to give him a contract that suits his caliber."

Earlier this week, Inzamam had criticised the Men in Green head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq’s recent statement about Sarfaraz Ahmed being the second-choice wicketkeeper for the England tour.

"I heard that Sarfaraz was being considered as the second choice wicketkeeper by the Pakistan team management. Sarfaraz was Pakistan captain for a long period and led the Men in Green to the Champions Trophy title. Players go through bad patches and are in and out of the team. However, we should respect our players. This statement is not good for any player and especially for someone who has served Pakistan for a long time," Inzamam said.

"When you are making a comeback after being dropped as captain, it is a very difficult task. On top of it, if you say that he is second choice as wicketkeeper, then it becomes even more challenging. Player making a comeback needs your motivation. Management needs to be careful as this kind of statement can bring his morale down," he added.

The wicket-keeper batsman was removed from captaincy and dropped from the national side after three-nil defeat to Sri Lanka in T20Is at home last year.