Azhar Ali has stepped down as Pakistan’s ODI captain in the aftermath of his team’s 4-1 defeat in Australia.
The Men in Green have endured a torrid time in the 50-overs cricket in last few years and are currently in danger of missing out on an automatic qualification spot for the 2019 World Cup as they are sitting in the eighth position on 89 points – two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies.
Moreover, the Champions Trophy is just around the corner and calls to remove Ali were viciously doing the rounds after the disastrous show in Australia.
Pakistan’s poor form in the ODIs coincided with Ali’s poor form with the bat as he scored only two half-centuries and one hundred in his last 23 innings as captain. During the series against Australia, he had scored only 37 runs in three outings.
Under Ali, Pakistan had slipped to a record-low ninth in the ODI rankings before rising one place to make the cut for this year’s Champions Trophy. Pakistan won only five out of ten bilateral series under Azhar, two of them against Zimbabwe, and one each against Ireland, Sri Lanka and West Indies. Overall, Pakistan won 12 and lost 18 games under the outgoing skipper.
Meanwhile, The Express Tribune has reported that Pakistan’s T20 skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has been appointed Azhar Ali’s successor in the 50-overs format.
As quoted in the news outlet, a Pakistan Cricket Board official said:“Azhar Ali decided to step down from ODI captaincy and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) management has decided to make Sarfraz Ahmed as the next ODI captain,”
“The PCB management including Chairman and Executive committee member are present in Dubai for an opening of PSL where they have decided to give ODI captaincy to Sarfraz who have been a successful captain in T20 format,” he added.
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