Arthur likely to remain Pakistan coach, Azhar to get Test captaincy - GulfToday

Arthur likely to remain Pakistan coach, Azhar to get Test captaincy

Sarfaraz-Ahmed

Sarfaraz Ahmed. File

Despite Pakistan’s failure to make it to the knockout stage of the World Cup 2019, Mickey Arthur is most likely to retain his position as head coach, at least till the 2020 World T20.

Pakistan were knocked out in the group stage of the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men finished fifth in the points table — at equal points (11) with New Zealand after the round-robin stage. However, the Black Caps qualified as the fourth team for the semi-finals owing to better net run-rate.

On Aug.2, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) cricket committee will be reviewing their World Cup performance for which Arthur has already arrived in Lahore.

A Dawn report quoted sources as saying that initial deliberations over the appointment of the head coach, other members of coaching staff, new selection committee and captain had already begun immediately after the showpiece event ended on July 14 with England emerging as eventual winners.

The report further said that victories at the 2017 Champions Trophy and Pakistan’s attaining top ranking in T20Is under Arthur’s coaching are his plus points. And with World T20 nearing, Arthur will be the best man to head Pakistan.

The PCB is also mulling over split captaincy, with Azhar Ali likely to be made as Test captain while Sarfaraz will lead the team in limited-overs cricket. Azhar was removed as Test captain soon after Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in 2017 under Sarfraz’s leadership.

The report further said that Babar Azam may also be appointed as deputy to Sarfraz and Azhar to be groomed for future.

Earlier, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar had also said that Sarfaraz should be kept in the team for his wicket-keeping and batting skills and not as a captain in any of the three formats.

According to Akhtar, Haris Sohail should lead Pakistan in ODIs and T20Is whereas Babar Azam should be handed over the captaincy in Test cricket.

Meanwhile, after drawing flak from all quarters for being involved in an online scandal with multiple women, Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq has tendered an unconditional apology to the PCB.

Imam, nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, had landed in hot waters last week when a few women posted alleged screenshots of his objectionable WhatsApp and Instagram conversations, accusing him of misleading and manipulating them.

“Imam was remorseful and has apologised for what all has happened and admitted his mistake. He said the matter got out of hand due to a misunderstanding,” Pakistan’s Geo TV quoted PCB MD Wasim Khan as saying on Monday.

“But we told him in clear terms that, although this is his personal and private matter, we expect our players to adhere to the highest standards of ethics and discipline,” he added.

The top PCB official further said the board had viewed the matter seriously and spoken to Imam about it.

“We don’t like to comment on personal affairs of a player but we expect that our centrally contracted players will also show more responsibility being ambassadors of Pakistan cricket and Pakistan,” said the PCB MD.

“Hopefully we will not see such incidents again,” he added.

Imam was an integral part of Pakistan’s World Cup campaign and scored a 100 against Bangladesh at Lord’s helping his team win by 94 runs. But Pakistan, in the end, fell short on net run rate and could not make the semi-finals finishing fifth behind eventual runners-up New Zealand.

Agencies

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Zimbabwe trounce Afghanistan to win AD Test

A century from skipper Sean Williams coupled with destructive pace bowling from Blessing Muzarabani and Victor Nyauchi led Zimbabwe to a rapid 10-wicket win over Afghanistan in the first Test in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Williams hit 105 to guide


That left Zimbabwe to score 17 runs which they got without any loss to end the match inside two days.

Afghanistan were bowled out for 131 in their first innings.

Lanky pacer Muzarabani finished with 2-14 -- six wickets in the match -- while his new ball partner Nyauchi took 3-30, also getting six in the match.

Afghanistan were facing an innings defeat at 81-7 but opener Ibrahim Zadran fought hard during his 76 -- his second half century -- and added 48 for the eighth wicket with Amir Hamza who remained 21 not out.

Zadran batted for three hours and hit ten boundaries.

This becomes Afghanistan’s third defeat in five Tests since gaining status to play the five-day format in 2017.

The writing was very much on the wall when Nyauchi had Abdul Malik in the second over for a duck for batsman’s pair on debut.

Nyauchi then had Rahmat Shah (zero) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (four) while Muzarabani had Munir Ahmad (one) and rival skipper Asghar Afghan (14) to leave Zimbabwe rocking at 47-6.

Nyuaci’s previous best of 3-69 was on his debut against Sri Lanka at Harare last year.

Earlier, resuming at 133-5, Zimbabwe added 117 more runs to gain crucial lead.

Williams, who resumed on 54 lost his overnight partner Ryan Burl for eight but then found an able partner in Regis Chakabva (44) as the duo added 75 for the seventh wicket.

Williams completed his third Test century, and second in successive Tests, soon after lunch with a single to square leg.

But he fell while flicking spinner Amir Hamza straight to mid-wicket.

Williams had 10 boundaries while Chakabva smashed a six and six boundaries.

Left-arm spinner Hamza finished with career-best figures of 6-75 -- his second five-for in Tests after his 5-74 against West Indies at Lucknow in 2019. The second Test starts on March 10, also in Abu Dhabi.

Scoreboard

Afghanistan first innings 131

Zimbabwe 1st innings (overnight 133-5)

S Williams c Hashmatullah b Hamza 105

R Burl lbw b Zadran 8

R Chakabva c Malik b Zahir 44

D Tiripano c Zadran b Zahir 4

B Muzarabani not out 12

V Nyauchi b Hamza 0

Total: (overs 72; all out) 250

Bowling: Ahmadzai 17.1-2-48-1 (1w), Hamza 25-3-75-6, Zahir 19-0-81-2, Wasi 8.5-0-23-0 (1nb), Zadran 2-0-13-1,

Afghanistan 2nd innings

I Zadran c Chakabva b Tiripano 76

A Malik c Chakabva b Nyauchi 0

M Ahmad lbw b Muzarabani 1

R Shah lbw b Nyauchi 0

H Shahidi c Madhevere b Nyauchi 4

A Afghan b Muzarabani 14

A Wasi b Burl 9

A Hamza not out 21

Y Ahmadzai c Williams b Tiripano 0

Z Khan c Nyauchi b Tiripano 0

Total: (overs 45.3; all out) 135

Bowling: Muzarabani 8-4-14-2, Nyauchi 7-1-30-3 (5w), Williams 6-0-28-1, Tripinao 9.3-2-23-3, Burl 7-0-13-1, Raza 4-0-16-0, Madhevere 4-1-6-0

Zimbabwe 2nd innings

P Masvaure not out 5

K Kasuza not out 11

TOTAL (overs 3.2, for no loss) 17

Bowling: Hamza 2-0-11-0, Ahmadzai 1.2-0-5-0

Result: Zimbabwe win by ten wickets

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