Azhar Ali has been named as the captain for Pakistan’s World Test Championship matches in the 2019-20 season, while Babar Azam has been named as the captain of the T20I side until next year’s ICC T20 World Cup Australia 2020, as confirmed by the officials. Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as Pakistan's Test and T20 captain on Friday.
JUST IN: Sarfaraz Ahmed has been removed as Pakistan's Test and T20I captain. Azhar Ali and Babar Azam will replace him. pic.twitter.com/3OhXWYbrCG— ICC (@ICC) October 18, 2019
Azhar Ali has been Pakistan's cornerstone in the batting line-up since making his debut against Australia in 2010. The 34-year-old has scored 5,669 runs with 15 centuries and 31 half-centuries in 73 Tests. Azhar had an excellent tour of Australia last time when Pakistan was there. On the other hand, Babar Azam has previously captained Pakistan in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012. He was vice-captain in the series against Sri Lanka and is presently captaining Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup.
Azhar Ali expressed his gratitude on being named as the captain and acknowledged the work done by Sarfaraz Ahmed,
"There is no bigger honor than to captain the Pakistan national cricket team in the pinnacle format of the game. I feel humbled, excited and privileged, and with the support of the team, look forward to justifying the faith that has been entrusted upon me for the World Test Championship. Sarfaraz Ahmed has done an excellent job in transforming raw talent into experienced players and I now look forward to inspiring those skillful players in our endeavors to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond."
Babar Azam also expressed his delight and said, “To be named the captain of the No.1 ranked side in the world is the biggest thing that has happened to my career to date. I am ready for this challenge and also willing to learn more in the process. I feel it has been a natural progression for me and I am delighted that the PCB has put faith in my capabilities."