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Sarfaraz Ahmed to lead Pakistan in World Cup 2019
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Sarfaraz Ahmed to lead Pakistan in World Cup 2019

Lahore, Feb 5: Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani on Tuesday confirmed that Sarfaraz Ahmed will continue captaining the Pakistan cricket team in the upcoming 2019 Cricket World Cup.

"There should be no doubt that Sarfaraz is the Pakistan cricket team's captain. He will lead the team in the series against Australia and also in the World Cup," the Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.

"There should be no doubt that Sarfaraz is the Pakistan cricket team's captain. He will lead the team in the series against Australia and also in the World Cup," the PCB chairman added.

The ban was imposed by the ICC last month following a one-day international in Durban in which Sarfaraz made a racist remark to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

He later apologised and claimed his words were "not directed towards anyone in particular", though he admitted breaching the anti-racism code. Ahmed first came into the limelight while leading Pakistan's team to victory in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup against India.

“I was always clear in my mind that Sarfaraz would be the captain. Sarfaraz has been an integral part of the Pakistan's World Cup preparations. He has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer", Mani added.

“He led Pakistan to Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to top of the International Cricket Council's Twenty20 International rankings," Mani said. “Sarfaraz has reiterated his commitment to the Pakistan cricket team as well as his availability and enthusiasm to captain the team at the World Cup."

Answering a question regarding these rumours, the skipper said, "Since I started captaining the team, I did not think so far ahead into the future and worry about if I would be the team's captain in a year's time or not. I focused on my responsibilities on a series-to-series basis and will continue to do so."

“I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with a committed support staff in the dressing room," he said when asked about how he felt going into the upcoming international showdown.

Sarfaraz made his debut against India in Jaipur in November 2007, Sarfaraz, 31, has played in 101 One-Day Internationals, including 35 as captain. He has scored 1,942 runs at just under 33 and has dismissed 121 batsmen behind the wickets. As captain, he has won 21 matches. (UNI)