Sarfaraz Ahmed (Urdu: سرفراز احمد; born 22 May 1987) is a Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman who plays for Pakistani national cricket team. He is the current captain of the Pakistan cricket team in all formats of the game.
|Full name||Sarfaraz Ahmed|
|Born||22 May 1987|
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
|Bowling||Right-arm off break|
|Role||Wicket keeper-batsman, Pakistan captain|
|Test debut (cap 198)||14 January 2010 v Australia|
|Last Test||11 January 2019 v South Africa|
|ODI debut (cap 156)||18 November 2007 v India|
|Last ODI||19 May 2019 v England|
|ODI shirt no.||54|
|T20I debut (cap 36)||19 February 2010 v England|
|Last T20I||5 May 2019 v England|
|T20I shirt no.||54|
|Domestic team information|
|2006/07–present||Pakistan International Airlines|
|2016–present||Quetta Gladiators (squad no. 54)|
|2017||Yorkshire (squad no. 56)|
Source: ESPN Cricinfo, 19 May 2019
Sarfaraz was named as Pakistan's Twenty20 International captain following the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, while he was named Pakistan's ODI Captain on 9 February 2017 after Azhar Ali stepped down. He took up the Test captaincy mantle for his team following the retirement of Misbah-ul-Haq and hence became the 32nd Test captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team in doing so. Under his captaincy, Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in June 2017. In March 2018, on Pakistan Day, Sarfraz became the youngest cricketer to be awarded with the Sitara-i-Imtiaz.
In August 2018, he was one of thirty-three players to be awarded a central contract for the 2018–19 season by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). In January 2019, in the second ODI against South Africa, he played in his 100th ODI match. Later in the same series, he was banned for four matches after admitting making a racist remark to South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.
Early life and family
Sarfaraz Ahmed was born on 22 May 1987 in Karachi, Pakistan to a family with a printing press business. His mother, Akeela Banu, has ancestors from Uttar Pradesh, India and his father died in 2006.
One Day International
Sarfaraz's notable achievement during the early days of his career was winning the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2006 where he led the Pakistani team and defeated India in the final in a low-scoring encounter,
Sarfaraz was called up by Pakistan as a cover for Kamran Akmal who had a finger injury in the one-day series between India and Pakistan in November 2007. He made his ODI debut in the final match of the series, on 18 November 2007. He didn't get a chance to bat as Pakistan had won the match before he was needed to bat.
In 2015, Sarfaraz was selected for 2015 Cricket World Cup but did not get a chance to play in the first four matches. Due to the first frequent losses, he was selected for Pakistan's fifth match of the event against South Africa where he scored 49 runs off 49 balls and took 6 catches as wicket-keeper to equal the one day international record for most dismissals(6 dismissals). Also he equalled Adam Gilchrist's record for the most dismissals as a wicketkeeper in a single World Cup innings(6) He was rewarded with the Man of the Match award. In his second match in the world cup he scored 101* against Ireland and he was again named the Man of the Match. The win gave Pakistan a spot in the Quarterfinals of the World Cup.
He made his Test match debut in Hobart on 14 January 2010, in the third Test match against Australia, replacing Kamran Akmal who suffered an "error-ridden performance" in the second Test. He was dropped again after one match.
Return to international cricket (2011)
Sarfaraz returned to the international team for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in November 2011 and for the subsequent series against Bangladesh and the Asia Cup. In the final of the tournament he scored a crucial 46 not out (the highest score from his team) as Pakistan won the match by 2 runs. He was consequently rewarded a Category C contract and selected for Pakistan's next series against Sri Lanka, again for T20s
After Misbah retired from the ODI format of the game after 2015 Cricket World Cup, Sarfraz was emerging to be a potential successor. However the PCB went with Azhar Ali for the captaincy and considering Sarfaraz led the Pakistan U-19 team, appointed him as the vice captain of the ODI team.
Sri Lanka Test series (2015)
During the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, Sarfaraz stabilized the Pakistan innings with a knock of 96 runs in just 85 balls, falling just four runs short of a century when he was bowled by Sri Lankan pacer Dhammika Prasad. During his knock he became the 7th Pakistani wicketkeeper to reach 1000 Test runs, in 28 inns, jointly the fastest Pakistani wicket-keeper with Imtiaz Ahmed. The knock also earned him the Man of the Match award.
Sarfaraz was dropped from the T20 series that followed the Test series against Sri Lanka. Many fans back home were shocked and started to raise questions. Pakistani coach Waqar Younis said on 6 August that Sarfraz is a key Pakistani player and he should be the next T20 captain of Pakistan.
Zimbabawe ODI series (2015)
Due to a foot injury sustained by usual One day captain Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz became the captain for the third ODI against Zimbabwe on 5 October 2015. He recorded first win in his debut match as captain.
After a horrendous T20 World Cup 2016 campaign, the T20I captain Shahid Afridi was sacked and the PCB appointed Sarfaraz captain of the national T20 team on 5 April 2016. He won his first match in the only T20I against England by nine wickets. Later his team defeated the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 champions, West Indies with a whitewash in a 3 match series. Pakistan is Number 1 in T20 Internationals as of November 2018. Under his captaincy Pakistan won 11 consecutive T20 series. The teams included West-indies, Australia, New Zealand, England & Zimbabwe against which Pakistan won the series. Pakistan also white-washed the opponent in a bilateral series on 5 occasions under his captaincy.
On 9 February 2017 following the resignation of then captain Azhar Ali from ODI captaincy, Sarfaraz Ahmed was chosen to succeed him thus making him a full time limited overs captain of Pakistan. He was also made vice-captain for the Pakistan Test team. In his first series as ODI captain, Pakistan beat West Indies 2–1
His first major tournament as the captain was 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. In the pool matches, Pakistan lost to India, but went on to win against South Africa and Sri Lanka to enter semi-finals. In the semi-final, Pakistan beat the hosts England comprehensively to enter Pakistan's first Champions Trophy final. In the final against arch-rivals India, Pakistan posted a massive total of 338 and won the match convincingly to become the champions.
On 28 September 2017, against Sri Lanka, he became the 32nd captain of Pakistan in Tests.Sri Lanka won the Test series 2–0. It was Pakistan's first whitewash in the United Arab Emirates, and only their second whitewash in a home series, after losing 3–0 to Australia in October 2002..
In January 2019, during the second ODI of the series against South Africa, Sarfaraz was caught on the stump mics using a racial slur towards Andile Phehlukwayo. He played in the third ODI match, but was then suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the next four matches, missing the last two ODIs and the first two T20Is of the tour. Shoaib Malik captained the Pakistan team in Sarfaraz's place. The following month, the PCB confirmed Sarfaraz as the team's captain, and stated he would lead the squad at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Pakistan Super League
Sarfaraz was picked by Quetta Gladiators in the PSL players draft on 21 December 2015. He was selected to be the franchise captain for the 2016 season. He led the Gladiators all the way through to the final, losing only two matches before it. But still his team just couldn't make it and they lost in the final to Islamabad United.In the second season 2017 he once again led Quetta to the final, but Quetta lost by 58 runs against Peshawar. Which meant that Quetta had lost the PSL final for the second time in a row.In the third season (2018) Quetta Gladiators not manage to qualify for the final, but instead were defeated by Peshawar Zalmi by 1 run in the first eliminator. He is once again chosen to play the fourth season of Pakistan Super League 2019 and lead the team as a captain.
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- "Islamabad crowned PSL champions". The Express Tribune. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
- Sarfraz Ali (5 March 2017). "PSL 2017 final: Peshawar beat Quetta by 58 runs, crowned champions". Daily Pakistan. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
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- "President Mamnoon confers civil awards on Yaum-i-Pakistan". Dawn. 23 March 2018.
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