Sarfaraz Ahmed was picked in the 29-member Pakistan squad for their three Tests and three T20Is in England, that concluded last month. He made his comeback into the side after being sidelined for around 8 months. Sarfaraz did not get a chance to play much in England as he was overlooked for the majority of the matches with Mohammed Rizwan getting the nod. But he was picked for the last T20 international against England.
However, Pakistan’s former captain wasn’t keen on playing the last match after being overlooked for almost the entire tour of England. Sarfaraz was reluctant to play when he was finally offered a chance in the third T20 International. Sarfaraz had told head coach and chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq, before the match that he didn’t wish to play.
“He didn’t refuse to play, but yes, he had reservations and apprehensions over being asked to play in the last match of the tour,” Misbah told Geo News channel.
“If I had been in his position I would have felt the same way. A player does feel apprehensive and uncertain if he is told to play in the last match of the tour after not playing in earlier matches,” he added.
Misbah said the team management, comprising batting coach Younis Khan, T20 captain Babar Azam and himself, assured Sarfaraz that he was in their scheme of things for the future and that one match is not going to make much of a difference.
“After we had a candid discussion with him over his reservations, he played without apprehensions.”Sarfaraz didn’t get to bat but in the final overs, in a pressure situation, he was seen advising Azam.
According to reports, Sarfaraz became apprehensive the moment he was told he was in the playing XI for the final T20, which Pakistan won, as he had trained for three hours in the nets without knowing he was to play and had gotten tired.
Sarfaraz, who was unceremoniously removed as captain and player last year after Misbah had taken over as head coach and chief selector, was picked for the long England tour as the second wicketkeeper, after Muhammad Rizwan.
(with PTI inputs)