‘Can’t do this to a player who led Pakistan for 4 years’: Shoaib Akhtar on seeing Sarfaraz Ahmed carry shoes as 12th man
In the ongoing Test between England and Pakistan, in Manchester, former Pak captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed was seen carrying drinks and shoes for Shadab Khan during the 71st over.
Watching this scene unfold, former Pakistan quick Shoaib Akhtar feels the team management has disrespected Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Sarfaraz, who was the Pakistan skipper after the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, was sacked after leading the country for almost four years. “I didn’t like the visual. If you want to make an example out of a boy from Karachi, then it is wrong. You can’t do this to a player who has led Pakistan for four years and has won Champions Trophy for the country. You made him carry shoes. If he has done it himself, then stop him. Wasim Akram never brought shoes for me,” Shoaib Akhtar said on Pakistan media.
Akhtar also added that he felt Sarfaraz was ‘weak and docile’ to agree to do it. “This shows that Sarfaraz is such a docile and weak man. He must have led Pakistan in the same way as he carried shoes. That’s why Mickey Arthur always dominated him. I am not saying carrying the shoes is a problem, but former captain can’t do that,” Akhtar further explained.
However, reacting to Akhtar, current team coach Misbah-Ul-Haq, said Sarfaraz carrying shoes is not a sign of disrespect.
“Sarfaraz is an excellent human being and player. He knows that it is a team game. When other players are practicing outside, so the player who is available has to help out. It is not a matter of disrespect. In fact, it is big of Sarfaraz that he doesn’t mind doing it. Plus, it is a sign of a good team,” Misbah said.
Sarfaraz led Pakistan to the 2017 Champions triumph in England, but after the country’s failure to reach the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, Sarfaraz’s credentials as captain were questioned and he was removed from captaincy of all three formats.
Azhar Ali was appointed Test captain and Babar Azam was named T20I skipper, followed by him also taking over in ODIs.