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Islamabad: Pakistan's Champions Trophy-winning skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has been removed in the T20I and Test cricket formats due to 'drop in his overall form during the past few series', the country's cricket board confirmed on Friday.
Under his leadership, Pakistan could not reach the last four stage of the World Cup this year.
Batsman Azhar Ali has been named as the skipper of the Test squad for the 2019-20 season.
Babar Azam has been named captain of the No.1 ranked T20I side until next year’s ICC T20 World Cup Australia 2020, said PCB in a statement.
Seventh-ranked Pakistan will play fifth-ranked Australia in two Tests in Brisbane (21-25 November) and Adelaide (29 November-3 December (d/n)) before hosting Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for two Tests apiece.
Pakistan are also scheduled to play three T20Is each against Australia (3, 5 and 8 November) and Bangladesh before the curtain falls on their international domestic season in early February 2020.
Reacting to the news, Azhar Ali said: “There is no bigger honour 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 endeavours to collectively achieve our World Test Championship objectives and beyond," he said.
Babar Azam said: “To be named 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."
“Sarfaraz Ahmed has led the side in the shortest format by example and it is my responsibility to take forward his accomplishments so that we remain a consistent, attractive and powerful side,” he said.
Sarfaraz Ahmed said: “It has been an honour to lead Pakistan at the highest level. I want to thank all my colleagues, coaches and selectors who have helped me in this journey. My good wishes are with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and the Pakistan cricket team, and I hope they will continue to grow stronger and stronger.”
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, who approved the appointments, said: “I want to congratulate Azhar Ali and Babar Azam on their elevations to the most coveted and prestigious jobs in cricket. It is a reward for their continued hard work in strive for excellence and I am sure they, like their predecessors, will make the country proud with their performance, leadership and sportsmanship."