Azhar Ali likely to be axed as ODI captain

PCB might replace Azhar with the T20 captain, Sarfraz Ahmed.

Pakistan’s senior batsman Azhar Ali is set to lose his captaincy in ODIs but will be appointed as captain of the Test team, after the retirement of veteran Misbah-ul-Haq.

Azhar Ali is likely to be removed as Pakistan’s ODI captain after his side lost the series in Australia 4–1. Pakistan were beaten in the final ODI in Adelaide, slumping to the same score line they had suffered in England last year, and the PCB is keen to use it as an opportunity to replace Azhar with the T20 captain, Sarfraz Ahmed.

The move could be the precursor to eventually appointing a single captain for all formats, though any such decision will have to wait until the Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq takes a call on his future.

Leadership issues were discussed in a meeting in Lahore during the fourth ODI of this series by PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Mushtaq Ahmed, the head coach at the National Cricket Academy. They are thought to be united in their belief that Sarfraz should take over the ODI captaincy but will wait until Misbah retires to name a new Test captain.

“Inzamam has tried to convince the PCB Chairman and other high officials off some radical changes required in the national team set-up after the disastrous tour to Australia,” a source said.
“It has been decided that Misbah would be advised to undertake the test tour to West Indies as captain and announce his retirement and go out gracefully while Younis would also be advised to call it a day after he completes his 10,000 test runs probably in the three Tests in the West Indies,” another source said.

He also disclosed that after the West Indies tour, Azhar would take over as the regular Test captain.

Sarfraz will be appointed as the captain of the one-day squad before the West Indies tour in addition to his responsibility as captain of the national T20 side.

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