Veteran Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman Karman Akmal has backed Sarfraz Ahmed to lead Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup.
The 36-year-old, who has represented the Men in Green in 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is and scored 6,871 runs collectively, expressed those views while talking to the media in Rawalpindi on Friday. He also believes that with only eight months left, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should start preparing for the mega event.
“I strongly believe that PCB should appoint Sarfraz as the captain till 2019 World Cup,” said Kamran. “It’s about time we should start preparing for the World Cup as any more experiments will be harmful for the team. We should start preparing for the mega event from now on. Curators should be asked to prepare pitches keeping in mind the kind of conditions our team will face in England.”
While talking about team’s overall performance, the Peshawar Zalmi wicketkeeper-batsman believes the Men in Green’s performance can only be judged when they will face tougher opponents.
“Team’s performance can only be judged once they will compete against tougher opponents,” he said.
Talking about the selection criteria, Kamran believes top performers in the domestic cricket should be given the chance to represent the national team.
“The board should also think about giving chances to players performing in four-day and one-day matches at the domestic level,” he said.
Talking about team’s chances in the 2019 World Cup, Kamran believes the team is well-equipped to win the title.
“I wish this team the very best for the future,” he said. “I believe if they play well, we have a great chance of lifting the trophy. It’s time we move forward in the right direction.”
Earlier, Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal has blamed national team captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Head Coach Mickey Arthur for showing bias in team selections.
Speaking at the National Stadium in Karachi, Akmal said that the captain and coach have a major say on which players make it into the squad while Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq does not seem to command any authority while making such decisions.
“These days, only the coach and captain decide who plays in the side,” he said. “It seems that the chief selector does not have major say in such decisions although the decision should be unanimously taken by all three.”
An emotional Akmal further said that it seems only a miracle will get him a chance in the side, stating: “Should I burn my kit bag or hit myself with a bat? Perhaps the only time I will come under reckoning is courtesy a miracle.”
The 36-year-old — who will be representing WAPDA in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this season — also thinks that he can play in the future as he still has a lot to offer for Pakistan cricket.
“My fitness and performance is there for everyone to see,” he said. “I don’t think my cricket playing days are over yet.”
Akmal, who has scored over 6000 runs for the Men in Green, also criticised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for issuing notices even when players are raising voice for their due rights.
“If I am going to raise voice for my rights, a notice will be served in response,” he lamented.