CRICKET

Sarfraz Ahmed named as new Pakistan Twenty20 captain

The wicketkeeper-batsman replaces outgoing skipper Shahid Afridi in the wake of Pakistan's disappointing campaign in India.

Sarfraz Ahmed named as new Pakistan Twenty20 captain
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP

Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed has replaced Shahid Afridi as Pakistan's Twenty20 captain, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old Afridi quit as captain on Sunday after Pakistan's disappointing performance in the recent World Twenty20, where they lost three of their four pool matches and failed to reach the semi-finals.

Sarfraz was made vice-captain of Pakistan's ODI and Twenty20 international squads last year and the PCB moved quickly to name him as Afridi's successor in the game's shortest format.

"I spoke to Sarfraz this morning and conveyed to him that he was our natural choice for this position. His appointment is open-ended. I wish him good luck in his new role," PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan said in a statement.

Despite resigning as skipper, Afridi said he wanted to continue as a player for the Twenty20 side.

Ahmed, a right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman who has played 21 T20 internationals and the same number of Test matches, as well as 58 one-day internationals, said he will invoke the team's fighting spirit.

"We will play good cricket," the 28-year-old told reporters after his appointment was announced.

He showered praise on the outgoing captain Afridi, subject of some of the most scathing criticism in the wake of the team's performance in India.

"I haven't seen a megastar like Afridi in my cricketing career. He has served Pakistan cricket for 20 years," Ahmed said.

Head coach Waqar Younis resigned Monday following Pakistan's disastrous performance in the World Twenty20.

The 2009 champions were widely criticised for a lacklustre performance in India, with just one victory against unfancied Bangladesh and big losses to India, New Zealand and Australia.