After the 2019 World Cup, Pakistan are yet to play any cricket. Their next assignment is the three-match ODI and three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka at home. The itinerary starts with the One Dayers at the National Stadium in Karachi followed by the 20-overs format at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. It’ll be the first time after 2009 when Lankan will be playing a full-fledged series in Pakistan.
In the meantime, it has been learned that Sarfaraz Ahmed has been retained as the skipper of the national team for the home series. There has been a lot of questions for quite some time regarding his credentials to lead at the highest level. His poor performance in the World Cup didn’t help his cause either and he was a recipient of severe criticism and brickbats, and even abuses.
Babar Azam named Sarfaraz’s deputy
The limited-overs series is a chance for the keeper to repay the selectors’ faith in him. Babar Azam, the top order batsman, has been named as his deputy as per reports in Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) official website. Babar has arguably been Pakistan’s most reliable batsmen, especially in ODIs and T20Is and was a star performer in the World Cup. He also did well for Somerset in the T20 Blast.
As far as the upcoming series is concerned, it got a green signal after a security delegation gave a positive feedback to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Despite that, 10 of the cricketers, including the likes of Dimuth Karunaratne, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews have pulled out of the series citing security concerns. Hence, the visitors were literally compelled to name a depleted squad.
Sarfaraz has also spoken on the matter, asking for support from the other cricketing nations. He talked about how Pakistan sent its junior team to Sri Lanka after the Easter bombings earlier this year. Recently, the SLC confirmed that their Prime Minister has received a message, which mentioned an attack on the visiting team in Pakistan. That incident has also put the series under the clouds.
Test cricket hasn’t taken place in Pakistan ever since the bus attack on the Sri Lankan team outside the Gaddafi Stadium in 2009. Later this year, the two nations are also scheduled to play a couple of matches in the ICC World Test Championship and it’s not known where the games will take place.
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