Shoaib Akhtar was clearly unhappy as Lahore-born former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed carried shoes and drinks in the break. Pakistan team management has been blamed by former Pakistan international cricketers Shoaib Akhtar and Rashid Latif after former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed performed duties of a twelfth man on the second day of the first Test against England in Manchester.
However, Sarfaraz was smiling despite being the 12th man and was even seen carrying shoes in middle after the fall of the wicket of his replacement Mohammad Rizwan in the 71st over of Pakistan’s 1st innings.
The Champions trophy winning captain also carried drinks for his teammates who were bowled out by the hosts England on the second day at Old Trafford.
Former Pakistan cricketers, fans and commentators did not like it and blamed Pakistan team management for disrespecting the Karachi born Sarfaraz. Shoaib Akhtar especially disliked the visuals and pointed out that it was wrong if there was an attempt to mock Sarfaraz and the former captain cannot carry shoes and drinks to the field.
You can’t do this to Sarfaraz Ahmed: Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar also went a step forward and called Sarfaraz docile and weak and blamed him for leading Pakistan in the same timid manner.
“I didn’t like the visual. If you want to make an example out of a boy from Karachi, then it is wrong. You can’t do this to a player who has led Pakistan for four years and has won Champions Trophy for the country. You have made him carry the shoes. If he has done it himself, then stop him. Wasim Akram never brought shoes for me,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
Image Credit: Snapgrab/Twitter.
“This shows that Sarfaraz is such a docile and weak man. He must have lead Pakistan in the same way as he carried the shoes. That’s why Mickey Arthur always dominated him. I am not saying carrying the shoes is a problem, but former captain can’t do that,” Shoaib Akhtar added.
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif also did not appreciate the Pakistan team management and even questioned their team spirit by noting that Wahab Riaz and Md. Amir did not wear proper kit, instead moved around in tracksuits. He, however, mentioned Sarfaraz’s greatness.
“Senior players like Amir and Wahab who are also sitting out, are not even in their kits. They are wearing tracksuits. This is not team spirit, but this greatness of Sarfaraz because he is passionate about the game. This should not have happened,” Rashid Latif stated.
According to Misbah, there was no shame in carrying drinks for teammates:
Head coach and chief selector Misbah said that these discussions only happen in Pakistan and there was nothing to be ashamed of to carry drinks for teammates by the reserve players.
Misbah also called Sarfaraz an excellent player and good human being besides pointing that three of the non-playing members of the 16 man squad were practising at the nets and only Sarfaraz was available at that instance.
“This type of discussion can only happen in Pakistan. I also performed the duties of a 12th man, when I was captain and was sitting out in a match against Australia. There is no shame in doing that,” Misbah maintained.
Misbah on Sarfraz Ahmed as a 12th-man:
“Sarfaraz is an excellent human being and player. He knows that it is a team game. When other players are practising outside, so the available player has to help out. It is not a matter of disrespect. In fact, it is big of Sarfaraz that he doesn’t mind doing it. Plus, it is a sign of a good team,” Misbah said at the end of days play.
Former Pakistan players were at a receiving end, but Pakistan team was happily sitting on top in the Test match following brilliant performances by batsman Shan Masood and pacers; Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Afridi.