Sarfraz Ahmed
Sarfraz Ahmed (AFP Photo)

Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas has advised national team captain Sarfraz Ahmed to step down from the leadership role in at least one format of the game.

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“He can’t continue to captain in all three formats. The pressure is too much for him. I think he should himself decide which format he should relinquish the captaincy,” Zaheer said at a book launching ceremony in Karachi on Saturday.

Known as the “Asian Bradman” for his run-scoring feats, Zaheer was making his first public appearance after undergoing a heart procedure recently.

“I don’t think Sarfraz can manage being captain and performing in all three formats. Better for him if he decides to just focus on two formats his performance will also improve,” the former skipper said.

Zaheer also said that when he was president of the ICC, he had told the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials that they wouldn’t get anything by filing the compensation case against the BCCI in the ICC Disputes Resolution Committee.

He also expressed anguish that due to popularity and more frequency of T20 cricket, the art of batting had suffered and one was witnessing below par batting performances in Tests.

Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan as usual came out in defence of Sarfraz Ahmed, saying it was not fair that everytime the team did badly there was criticism on Sarfraz’s captaincy. “Head coach, Mickey Arthur has full authority in the team and if the results are not satisfactory he should be questioned as to what went wrong why Sarfraz all the time,” Moin said.

He also pointed out that as a wicketkeeper, Sarfraz’s batting always came late and most of the time when he came out to bat there was pressure on the team and he couldn’t play his natural game.