Wasim Akram: PCB wrong to call Sarfraz Ahmed back from South Africa

Sarfraz Ahmed could have played the final T20 of the three-match series next month, says the former captain.

Wasim Akram believes Sarfraz Ahmed should not be removed as captain.   -  AFP

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan captain, has expressed his disagreement with the decision taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board to call back captain Sarfraz Ahmed from South Africa.

Sarfraz had been handed a four-match suspension for his racist comments in the third One-Day International of a five-match series in the country.

“It was a wrong decision to call him back from South Africa when he could have played in the final T20 on February 6,” Akram said. “What Sarfraz did was wrong but it is also a fact that more than anyone else, Pakistanis around the world hyped up his comments and created an issue,” he added.

‘No need to change captain’

Despite the controversy, Sarfraz should remain the national team’s captain, according to Akram.

Sarfraz Ahmed has been suspended for four matches by the ICC. File Photo: AFP

 

“There is no need to change the captain before the World Cup. We need a long-term captain, not a short-term one. Shoaib Malik is leading the team now and is doing a fine job but even he has said he will retire from [One Day Internationals] after the World Cup,” he said.

Wasim said the only reason he was backing Sarfraz was because he was a fighter. “He is still learning and will get better as he matures and gains more experience. It would be wrong to remove him as captain,” Akram reasoned.

The PCB has expressed its disappointment with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its four-match ban on Sarfaraz, pointing to his apology for his remarks.