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Friday Sep 23, 2016

West Indies T20 series true test of Sarfraz captaincy: Wasim Akram


We had Wasim Akram in our studio discussing all things cricket in the first part of our Facebook Live series on the sport.

During the session hosted by anchor Danish Anis, the ‘Swing ka Sultan’ answered fans’ questions about Shahid Afridi’s retirement, Pakistan’s batting lineup, leg-spinner Yasir Shah and fast bowler Mohammad Amir.

On the Pakistan vs. West Indies T20 series in UAE beginning September 23, Wasim Akram said it would be an interesting challenge for Pakistan as the Windies are T20 world champions and own the 20-over format. The former skipper said the series would be a true test of Sarfraz Ahmed’s captainship skills and added that it was good news for Pakistan that power-hitter Chris Gayle would be absent from the series.

Asked about Yasir Shah, Wasim said the spinner has a bright future ahead of him and praised the bowler’s performance in the recent series against England. He however cautioned against piling too many overs on Yasir as that might lead to fitness problems.

In response to a question on whether PCB should give Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal a farewell match, Wasim said it was a difficult situation. In terms of the PCB’s perspective, it’s not club cricket, the swing master said. It’s an international match and a lot of things have to be considered. At the same time, Afridi and Ajmal are legendary cricketers and deserve an honorary send-off.

“If it were down to me I’d give both of them a chance to say goodbye by playing them against West Indies,” Wasim Akram said.

About Azhar Ali’s place in ODIs, Wasim said the batsman deserves a spot in the side owing to his recent performance. He said it is wrong to expect a century from a batsman in every match.

To a question about what constitutes selection criteria, Wasim advised aspiring cricketers to put in maximum effort into domestic cricket as that is how players are assessed for selection in the national team.