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‘Scared’ Karachi players responsible for their own downfall, not Punjab: Akhtar

Former cricketer said that players from Karachi lack the attitude to stamp their authority

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has questioned the mindset of Karachi players after the sacking of wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed as Men in Green’s skipper.

While speaking in a Youtube video, the former cricketer said that players from Karachi lack the attitude to stamp their authority.

“When a Punjabi like me is asking a Karachi player [Sarfaraz] to exercise his authority, and he still fails, how are we to blame?" Akhtar questioned. “It is a sad scenario that only one player [Asad Shafiq] from Karachi is left in the team and he is also a very timid person.”

“After playing 64 Tests, Asad’s name should have been mentioned among great batsmen like Virat Kohli, but he is nowhere because of the mindset and nervous personality of Karachi players,” he added.

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The 44-year-old also believes that Sarfaraz was responsible for his downfall, after the latter was removed as Pakistan captain in all formats.

“When Sarfaraz came back in the team in 2014, he focused on his batting and played aggressive cricket to make his place in the team,” he said. “However, when Sarfaraz became captain, he got lost somewhere. He became a scared captain as he was unable to make any decisions or selections as Mickey Arthur kept calling the shots.”

“All former cricketers kept advising him to take responsibility as we knew that if he didn’t, his place would come under the scanner,” he added.

Former pacer believes that Sarfaraz might have played his last international game for Pakistan.

“PCB doesn’t want Sarfaraz in the team anymore, so we don’t know his future,” he said. “Rizwan is likely to be preferred in Tests and ODIs whereas Kamran Akmal can make a comeback in T20Is.”

Fans gathered outside Sarfaraz house in Karachi on Sunday, to protest against his removal as Men in Green’s skipper.

During the protest, the fans also demanded an apology from Akhtar regarding the aforementioned statement about Karachi players.