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Captaining Pakistan across formats taking a toll on Sarfraz – Mohsin Khan

Mohsin Khan, the newly appointed head of PCB’s cricket committee, reckons the burden of leading Pakistan in all three formats is taking a toll on Sarfraz Ahmed. He wants the current Pakistan captain to give up his role in Test cricket and concentrate on the other forms – a suggestion that has already been rejected by PCB chairman Ehsan Mani.

“I have said it before and I will say it now too,” Mohsin said while speaking to Hum News on Tuesday (October 30). “With Sarfraz, I was saying you got a new guy in, don’t put the burden of three formats on him. It will take such a physical load on him, T20s, ODIs and then Tests if he is captain he will not get any mental relaxation.

“I had said make him T20 and ODI captain and in Tests, put in a senior player for a year, year-and-a-half which will give him [Sarfraz] time, allow him to relax and groom himself as a leader, to get some confidence.”

Pakistan’s recent poor showing in the Asia Cup was taken as an example by Mohsin to give Sarfraz some time to relax and enjoy the leadership role. “Sarfraz’s body language was so down. I felt sorry for him that he’s had so much pressure put on him, with T20s, ODIs and Tests. There’s no doubt he is so talented and it’s not as if he is 35-36. He is young, he has a lot of time. That was my view before and it is now as well.”

Sarfraz recently led Pakistan to a Test series win against Australia and then followed it up with a 10th consecutive series win in Twenty20 Internationals when they whitewashed Australia. However, Mohsin feels that the upcoming series against New Zealand will give a clearer picture of Sarfraz’s captaincy.

“This New Zealand series, it has Tests, ODIs and T20s, it will give us a better picture of how much mentally stronger Sarfraz has become. I will repeat – I only say this because he is still young and he doesn’t need this much pressure on him. He needs some relief time because wicketkeeping itself is such a difficult job.”

The cricket committee that consists of Mohsin, Wasim Akram, Misbah Ul Haq and former women’s captain Urooj Mumtaz will only offer suggestions on cricketing matters to the chairman, but the final decision will remain with the Mani.

“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “I have spoken to Ehsan Mani, the final decision will, of course, be his but I will give him the suggestion. Whatever suggestions I give, it will not be out of personal interest. I will only suggest those things that will help make Pakistan better on or off the field,” Mohsin concluded.

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