Haven’t Played an ODI in 2 Years? You are Pakistan’s New Skipper!

30-year old Azhar Ali named Pakistan’s new ODI captain after Misbah-ul-Haq retired from One Day cricket after the World Cup.

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Sports
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Azhar Ali celebrates after scoring a century during a Test match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele July 11, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

In a surprise move, the Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed 30-year old batsman Azhar Ali as the new captain of the national one-day team and named wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed as his deputy.

Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t put a name to the face.

Ali has not played ODI cricket for Pakistan in over two years. His last outing in fact was against India at Kolkata in January 2013.

However apparently the support he got from outgoing captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Waqar Younis turned the tide in his favour.

Haven’t Played an ODI in 2 Years? You are Pakistan’s New Skipper!

Pakistan are scheduled to tour Bangladesh for a Test and one-day series from mid-April.

30-year-old Azhar has played just 14 ODIs since his debut in 2010 and his choice over the likes of Muhammad Hafeez, Fawad Alam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood and veteran batsman Younis Khan has come as a big surprise as he was not even picked in the World Cup squad. He has played in 39 Tests.

Azhar was also named as vice-captain to Misbah-ul-Haq in the Test side while wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed would be the ODI and T20 vice-captain.

Shahid Afridi will remain captain of the T20 side.

Shaharyar Ali Khan, center, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, addresses a news conference with newly selected captain Azhar Ali, left, in Lahore. (Photo: PTI)
Shaharyar Ali Khan, center, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, addresses a news conference with newly selected captain Azhar Ali, left, in Lahore. (Photo: PTI)

Announcing the Board’s determination to learn from the World Cup experience, Shaharyar Khan praised Misbah and Afridi for their contribution to Pakistan cricket. Both Misbah and Afridi have announced their retirements from one-day cricket after the World Cup.

“I congratulate Misbah and Afridi on their retirements from one-day cricket after giving so much service to Pakistan,” Khan said.

Khan also said that senior batsman Younis Khan remained a role model for younger players and would continue to be considered for Test and ODI cricket as he had no plans to retire immediately from limited-overs format.

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