Sarfaraz Ahmed
PCB removes Sarfaraz Ahmed

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to remove Sarfaraz Ahmed as Test and T20 captain of the national cricket team.

Top-order batsman Azhar Ali has been named as Test captain while Babar Azam has been given the charge to lead the T20 side.

“It has been a difficult decision to drop Sarfaraz Ahmed, who has performed well as a player and a leader but, his loss in form and confidence is visible and, in the best interest of the team, it has been decided to leave him out and provide him the opportunity to reflect and regroup himself and try to reclaim his form away from international cricket,” said PCB chairman Ehsan Mani.

“Sarfaraz Ahmed’s contributions are second to none and being the gutsy cricketer and fighter that we all know he is, I have no doubts he will be back in Pakistan colours at some stage.”

The shocking 3-0 home defeat against an inexperienced Sri Lanka gave the visitors their first Twenty20 series win against Pakistan in seven attempts while missing 10 of their top players — including regular T20 skipper Lasith Malinga, who refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.

The change is seen as surprising despite the Sri Lanka whitewash. Pakistan had reached number one in the Twenty20 rankings under Sarfaraz, winning 11 series along the way.

Pakistan will play three Twenty20 internationals in Australia in November ahead of two Test matches.