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Sacking Sarfaraz was a wrong move, says Saqlain

Sacking Sarfaraz was a wrong move, says Saqlain
Former Pakistan player Saqlain Mushtaq at an event in Dubai. (Photo by Rahul Gajjar)

Dubai - Saqlain, who played 49 Tests and took 208 wickets, felt that it was a tad too early to remove Sarfaraz



By James Jose

Published: Mon 21 Oct 2019, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Oct 2019, 1:51 AM

Pakistan spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq has said that axing Sarfaraz Ahmed as captain of the Test and T20 sides was perhaps a wrong move and added that if he were to be in coach-chief selector and batting coach Misbah-ul-Haq's shoes, he would've given him another opportunity.
Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as Pakistan captain last week following dismal results, with Azhar Ali and Babar Azam taking up the reins of the Test and T20 teams respectively.
But former off-spinner Saqlain, who played 49 Tests and took 208 wickets, felt that it was a tad too early to remove Sarfaraz.
"They are doing a lot of experiments and this is another experiment," Saqlain said in a chat with the Khaleej Times.
The 42-year-old, who also featured in 169 ODIs and had 288 scalps, was in Dubai for 'An evening of sport,' a dinner organised by The S Hotel.
"They lost to Sri Lanka badly and because of that, they removed him. They gave the T20 captaincy to Babar Azam but I don't know how good he is. I don't know if he has captained at the under-19 level or domestic cricket. If I would be in Misbah's shoes, I would have given a chance to Sarfaraz rather than just one series. I would have given him one more series," he added.
Pakistan cricket is in the midst of a massive overhaul with former skipper Misbah being handed three roles, that of chief selector, head coach and batting coach. And while Saqlain felt such experiments come at a cost, he also said that people should give Misbah time.
"Misbah is a very nice guy, very, very intelligent person as well and he did a brilliant job as captain of Pakistan. He's an honest person, hard working and he doesn't compromise with the quality and the standard or the criteria of picking the team. But this is a new role and he hasn't got the experience.
"I believe he will make mistakes and we should understand that as well. PCB is trying and doing a bit of an experiment. And I always believe that you can experiment on a lower level and not the highest level. You can do experiments at the age group level, Pakistan 'A' or domestic cricket. But at the highest level, you are there to win the game even if you are playing against the No.10 team in the world," felt Saqlain.
Saqlain is coming off a successful English summer where he was the spin coach of the World Cup-winning England team. They also drew the Ashes against old foes Australia. Saqlain worked with the senior team, the Lions and at the under-19 level. Even though the deal was not renewed, Saqlain fondly recalled his time with England.
"That was amazing actually, the 2019 World Cup, it was an amazing experience for me. I remember, back in 1999, I played the World Cup, we played the final and we lost against Australia.
"This time, I was part of the support staff of the England team and we won the World Cup. We had the faith and belief that we are going to win the tournament because we played tremendous cricket for the last year and a half or two," he said.
james@khaleejtimes.com
 


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