Azhar Ali’s time almost up, says PCB chief

Karachi [Pakistan], Dec. 15 : Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan has admitted that they do not trust batsman Azhar Ali anymore, thus putting the latter's captaincy on the line during the upcoming five-match ODS series against Australia.

Ever since Azhar has taken the helm of Pakistan's captaincy, the performance of the Men in Green has depleted so and so, to an extent that they have been dropped to the eighth spot in the ICC ODI Rankings.

"We are more than happy with Azhar as a player, human being and a person," Khan was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

"But his leadership skills have not given us confidence and his place in ODI side is on shaky ground. It is also a fact that we had left it up to him to step down as captain during the England series but after a collective decision we decided to allow him to carry on for the West Indies series." "It's really tough to make a decision after a captain won it [the West Indies series] by 3-0, but still I believe it's purely Azhar's own decision to let it go and he earlier refused to relinquish his captaincy," he added.

With Ali losing the ODI captaincy, T20I skipper Sarfraz Ahmed becomes the front runner to become the 50-over captain before eventually taking over from Misbah-ul-Haq as the Test captain upon his imminent retirement.

The PCB chief further said that head coach Mickey Arthur was also consulted on whether Azhar should be given one more chance or an axe should be wielded, and he too suggested the latter line of action.

"Sarfraz is a strong option because we might even consider him for all three formats as captain. In our culture, it is always best to have one captain for all three formats in Pakistan cricket and historically it works for us.

We don't like to force anyone to take decisions we don't work like that. And we would like to see a senior player go out with honour and respect," he said. Pakistan have won just four series out of the nine it has played under Azhar, two of which came against minnows Zimbabwe and Ireland.

Source: ANI