Azhar Ali to lead Pakistan against West Indies

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LAHORE: Pakistan Monday announced Azhar Ali will lead the one-day team in their forthcoming series against the West Indies, despite calls for his removal following a 4-1 ODI defeat against England earlier this month.
Azhar has been widely criticised for his unimaginative captaincy since taking over from Misbah-ul-Haq, who retired from the 50-over format following the World Cup last year.
Sarfraz Ahmed, who had been tipped to replace Azhar as one-day skipper, will lead the side in the three-match Twenty20 series starting in Dubai from Friday.
That will be followed by three one-day matches with Azhar as captain and as many Tests – all in the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistan have played most of their home matches since 2009 for security reasons.
PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said a decision on whether to give former Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal a farewell match would be taken at a meeting on September 26.
There were reports the PCB’s selection committee headed by former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq wanted to give Afridi a swansong match, but the move was opposed by other officials.
Afridi stepped down as Twenty20 captain following Pakistan’s first-round exit in the World Twenty20 in India in April. He vowed to continue as a player but has not been picked since.
Ajmal has lost his place in the team after failing to deliver wickets with a remodelled action following a chucking suspension in 2014.
Ahmed also said the PCB had not ruled out picking ex-captain Salman Butt, one of three players punished for spot-fixing in 2010.

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