Sarfraz must stay as captain:  Inzimam

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SHARJAH: Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq has backed Champions Trophy winner Sarfraz Ahmed as Pakistan’s captain till World Cup 2019.

Talking to media in Sharjah, Inzamam said that the way Sarfaraz has led Pakistan team in last one year has been remarkable and there should be no doubt that he should remain Pakistan’s captain till next world cup.

“Captain is the one responsible for playing team in the middle, he’s the leader. It is necessary that we know who is going to lead Pakistan in the world cup,” he said

“The way Sarfaraz has led Pakistan in last one year has left no doubt that he should be retained as captain. He is and he must stay as captain,” he added

He further said that the selection committee will move towards the preparation of World Cup 2019 with a pool of 20 players so that team can get ample time to gel together for cricket’s biggest extravaganza.

“I strongly believe that the players who we have for world cup should be playing together till the mega event for next one year so that a combination can be made for them and they can gain the confidence,” said Inzamam

“I am also seeking doctors’ report on players’ injury and fitness, the selection is open to everyone. If there is any performer in first class and domestic, he can also come in contention for World Cup. We have to focus on a group with whom we can move forward,”

Inzamam, while adding that he can’t give a deadline to name 20 for the world cup contention, but ideally a group should be known at least 12 months before the world cup.

Replying to a question, the former master batsman said that the third edition of Pakistan Super League has already brought some players into the limelight and they’re surely in the sight of the selection committee.

“Hussain Talat of Islamabad United has been very good. Spinner Ibtisam Sheikh has impressed me a lot as well. Rahat Ali has bowled well in the tournament to change the usual perception about him,” Inzamam said.

“Although the tournament is in initial stages, there are talented players spotted during the tournament who can be considered for Pakistan team,” the chief selector said.

He also weighted his support behind senior players saying that Hafeez or Malik may he not been able to perform well in New Zealand but they have remained effective in past and they can’t be degraded.

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