Sarfaraz Ahmed will captain Pakistan at this summer’s 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board have confirmed.
The wicketkeeper was appointed Pakistan’s captain in T20I cricket in 2016, before taking up the mantle across all formats in 2017. That same year, he led Pakistan to glory in the ICC Champions Trophy.
Sarfaraz was handed a four-match suspension for violating the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code for Participants during his side’s second ODI against South Africa in Durban last month. Shoaib Malik has fulfilled captaincy duties for his side across Pakistan’s last four limited-overs fixtures.
Speaking upon the announcement of Sarfaraz’s retention of the captaincy, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said: “I am happy to confirm that Sarfaraz will remain Pakistan captain till the World Cup. I was always clear in my mind that Sarfaraz would be the captain. I was keen to speak with him on the team’s recent performances as part of the normal review and appraisal process, and, more importantly, about his own future plans as we all know he has undergone some tough times as a professional cricketer in the past few weeks.
“He led Pakistan to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to the top of the ICC Twenty20 International rankings. His achievements and contributions as a captain and as a valuable all-round cricketer cannot be undermined or overlooked because of the team’s recent Test results.”
Sarfaraz added: “I feel humbled and honoured to be placed in the same bracket as some of the most iconic and legendary cricketers who have previously captained Pakistan at World Cups. It is the dream of any international cricketer to play in a World Cup, but to be appointed captain in the biggest cricket spectacle on the planet is something that is extremely special.
“I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with a committed support staff in the dressing room. Everyone is geared up and keenly looking forward to returning to the country where we won the last major ICC tournament."
Prior to the start of the tournament in May, Pakistan will play ODIs against both Australia and England. Their first fixture in the tournament will see them take on the Windies on May 31 at Trent Bridge.