Former Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Quetta Gladiators are likely to make a ground-breaking change as they might sack wicketkeeper batter Sarfaraz Ahmed from the captaincy role ahead of the upcoming PSL 9.
Sarfaraz Ahmed has been a key part of the franchise since the inaugural edition of the PSL and has been leading the side since then.
The franchise played three finals under his leadership and also lifted their solitary title in 2019.
However, the franchise saw a total change of fortune since winning the title as they failed to reach the playoffs in the last four editions.
In a bid to force a change, Quetta Gladiators made notable changes in their coaching staff and management as they brought in legendary all-rounder Shane Watson as the head coach and express pacer Shaun Tait as their bowling coach.
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Meanwhile, according to a report by ESPNCricinfo, Quetta Gladiators may sack Sarfaraz Ahmed as the captain, the decision of which will be taken when franchise owner Nadeem Omar meets Shane Watson in the coming days.
Notably, there is no strong candidate to replace Sarfaraz as the captain but Rilee Rossouw and Saud Shakeel are said to be the frontrunners to take the role.
Franchise owner Nadeem Omer recently appeared in a local podcast where he revealed that he is “double-minded” on Sarfaraz Ahmed’s future as the captain.
“It is the elephant in the room,” Omar said. “Wherever I go, people ask me this. But our franchise is a bit different from the others in the sense that we have a very intimate relationship with these players. I understand cricketers have a shelf life, but I think over Pakistan history, we tend to dump players unceremoniously.”
Omar then confirmed that he is scheduled to meet Watson in a few days and if a decision is made to remove Sarfaraz from captaincy, then the franchise will give the well-deserved honour to the wicketkeeper batter.
“Sarfaraz has been off the boil over the last couple of years. There are a lot of reasons for that – the way he was unceremoniously ousted by the PCB didn’t help, especially when he had a few more years. We won’t dump him unceremoniously.
“We haven’t decided yet but we’ll give him full honours. Sarfaraz told me he would be happy to step aside if Quetta wants to make a change. We have a call with Shane Watson in a couple of days and then we’ll decide,” Omar added.
It is pertinent to mention that Quetta Gladiators announced Sarfaraz Ahmed as their captain amid the PSL 9 Players Draft earlier this month.
Quetta Gladiators squad for PSL 9:
Sherfane Rutherford, Mohammad Amir, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Jason Roy, Wanindu Hasaranga, Mohammad Hasnain, Abrar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Sajjad Ali Junior, Usman Qadir, Omair Bin Yousuf, Will Smeed, Khawaja Nafay, Adil Naz, Akeal Hosain, and Sohail Khan.