LAHORE: Former cricketers and fans have expressed disappointment after Sarfaraz Ahmed was seen performing 12th man duties during the ongoing Test match against England in Manchester.
The former Pakistan captain was seen carrying shoes after the dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan during Pakistan’s first innings. He was also seen carrying drinks for his teammates.
The incident did not go unnoticed by the fans, commentators and former Pakistan cricketers, who have slammed Pakistan team management for showing disrespect to the former captain.
Former bowler Shoaib Akhtar expressed displeasure and said it an attempt was being made to mock Sarfaraz Ahmed. He added that a former Pakistan captain cannot be made to carry drinks and shoes.
“I didn’t like the visual. If you want to make an example out of a boy from Karachi, then it is wrong. You can’t do this to a player who has led Pakistan for four years and has won Champions Trophy for the country. You have made him carry the shoes. If he has done it himself, then stop him. Wasim Akram never brought shoes for me.”
“This shows that Sarfaraz is such a docile and weak man. He must have lead Pakistan in the same way as he carried the shoes. That’s why Mickey Arthur always dominated him. I am not saying carrying the shoes is a problem, but former captain can’t do that,” Shoaib Akhtar said.
Former wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif hailed the greatness of Sarfaraz and questioned Pakistan’s team spirit, pointing out that bowlers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz did not wear the cricket kit.
“Senior players like Amir and Wahab who are also sitting out, are not even in their kits. They are wearing tracksuits. This is not team spirit, but this greatness of Sarfaraz because he is passionate about the game. This should not have happened,” Rashid Latif stated.
Meanwhile, head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said such discussions can only take place in Pakistan and there was no shame in carrying drinks for teammates.
Misbah clarified that three non-playing members of the squad were practising in the nets and the former captain was the only one available at that point. “This type of discussion can only happen in Pakistan. I also performed the duties of a 12th man, when I was captain and was sitting out in a match against Australia. There is no shame in doing that.
“Sarfaraz is an excellent human being and player. He knows that it is a team game. When other players are practising outside, so the player who is available has to help out. It is not a matter of disrespect. In fact, it is big of Sarfaraz that he doesn’t mind doing it. Plus, it is a sign of a good team,” Misbah said at the end of day’s play.
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