The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the squad for the upcoming tour of England. Pakistan is scheduled to take on the home side in three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), which will be played in August-September.
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has criticised the Men in Green head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq’s recent statement about Sarfaraz Ahmed being the second choice wicketkeeper for the England tour.
Misbah, during a teleconference on Friday, said that Sarfaraz will be a perfect back-up option for wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who remains Pakistan’s first choice behind the wickets.
“Sarfaraz Ahmad has a good track record in England and his experience would definitely help players around. He is the second best wicket keeper after Muhammad Rizwan. He is selected as back up for England tour on basis of his performance and I hope he avails his chance,” Misbah said.
The aforementioned statement didn’t go down well with Inzamam, who argued that it can bring Sarfaraz’s morale down who is already making a comeback in the national side.
“I heard that Sarfaraz was being considered as the second choice wicketkeeper by the Pakistan team management. Sarfaraz was Pakistan captain for a long period and led the Men in Green to the Champions Trophy title. Players go through bad patches and are in and out of the team. However, we should respect our players. This statement is not good for any player and especially for someone who has served Pakistan for a long time,” Inzamam said.
“When you are making a comeback after being dropped as captain, it is a very difficult task. On top of it, if you say that he is second choice as wicketkeeper, then it becomes even more challenging. Player making a comeback needs your motivation. Management needs to be careful as this kind of statement can bring his morale down.”
While the former captain is not bothered by the fact that he is the second choice wicketkeeper for the tour behind Mohammad Rizwan.
“I always remained grounded even when I was the captain and that’s why there won’t be any issue for me to stay around as a normal player,” he said.
“As far as being a back-up wicket keeper is concerned, I am not worried about being the first or second choice. I am happy that I am back in the team and having two wicket keepers is good for the team. We have seen this in past with Moin Khan and Rashid Latif,” he added.
The wicketkeeper-batsman was focused on not repeating his past mistakes.
“Every human makes mistakes. I may have made some too and that’s why I was dropped from the team,” said Sarfaraz.
“I am positive about the opportunity now and I will give my best whenever I get the chance in order to regain my regular place in the team.”
“I want to make my comeback memorable with a big performance for the team,” he added.
Sarfaraz wants to focus more on his batting and also expressed his desire to score a double century in Test cricket.
“Ups and downs are part and parcel of a player’s career. When I was captain, I was more focused on how the team performed but now I will be able to focus on my own performance,” he said.
“My wish is to score double century in Test cricket.”