Mani backs Sarfraz as skipper, says changes in PCB inevitable
KARACHI: Sarfraz Ahmed received a major boost on Wednesday when PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani reiterated his support for the doughty wicket-keeper-batsman as Pakistan captain with the World Cup barely eight months away.
Addressing his maiden media conference here in the city since being appointed the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) nearly two months ago, Mani voiced his support for Sarfraz as the national team leader.
“I think this (captaincy) issue has been unnecessarily raised for a while now. As the PCB chairman, I feel Sarfraz is doing a great job as the Pakistan captain across all formats. He was first appointed (as the T20 skipper) by Shaharyar M. Khan and then became captain of one-day and Test sides with the passage of time,” Mani told reporters at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in the vicinity of the National Stadium.
“Our team has been performing very well in recent times and there is tremendous camaraderie in the ranks. The credit for this definitely goes to Sarfraz and Mickey Arthur. The results speak for themselves and Sarfraz’s own form is extremely good now.”
“There is no doubt in my mind over Sarfraz being the Pakistan captain. We have full trust in his leadership qualities. So the question of who is going to lead at the (2019) World Cup is meaningless.”
He went on to add: “Under his captaincy, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy and we are the top-ranked T20 team in the world.”
Mani, who was accompanied by PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad and National Cricket Academy’s director Mudassar Nazar, said that his visit to the city was brief because he wanted to monitor the progress of renovation work at the National Stadium. He stressed that the main priority for him was the overall betterment of Pakistan cricket.
“I am delighted to be amongst you because it was long overdue (for me) to be visiting the nursery of Pakistan cricket since becoming the board chairman,” he remarked. “I had always viewed Karachi as the backbone of Pakistan cricket and strategically it remains the most important centre of the country. The list of great cricketers coming from here is endless.
“When Karachi cricket is strong, so is Pakistan cricket. It was imperative for me to come and see myself the pace of renovation work and overall infrastructure of the National Stadium. This is a very short trip but I promise to come again during the emerging (ACC) tournament in December and meet you individually.”