Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Pak vs NZ: Why was Mohammad Rizwan stopped from captaining during Karachi Test?

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan. — AFP/File
Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Sarfaraz Ahmed took over as stand-in captain in absence of skipper Babar Azam after the match referee barred Mohammad Rizwan from captaining the side as he was not part of the playing 11. 

Rizwan, who is the 12th man, was seen captaining the Pakistan side on day three of the first Test against New Zealand in the absence of Babar Azam before the match referee informed the team management that a he cannot captain the side.

Azam and Salman Agha could not take the field due to flu. Rizwan is the vice-captain of the Pakistan Test team; however, he was rested for the first Test.

Rizwan took to the field without the skipper and was seen setting the field when the match referee informed the Pakistan team that according to the ICC rules, a 12th man could not be a stand-in captain.

Afterward, Sarfaraz was captaining; he was also seen reviewing Devin Conway's LBW decision.

Meanwhile, left-handed batter Shan Masood was late to the field due to flu. A spokesperson said Pakistan's media manager Ahsan Nagi had also fallen victim to the flu and did not come to the stadium today. 

Players have been advised to stay cautious, said the spokepserson. 

Sarfaraz's return to Test side 

Sarfaraz, who last played in January 2019 before this game, had to wait for three years, 11 months, and 15 days to don Pakistan’s Test shirt again. The former captain smashed 86 before losing his wicket to Ajaz Patel 17 minutes before the close of play.

The right-hander also became Pakistan's leading run scorer in Tests among wicketkeeper-batters after his 86-run inning.  

The wicket-keeper batter enjoyed an excellent 196-run partnership with Babar before Patel dismissed him when he edged one to Mitchell at first slip shortly before the close.

Sarfaraz said he was very nervous during the first few balls after coming to bat on the first day of the Karachi Test. He felt like it was his debut, he told in the presser after day 1.

Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) interim chief selector Shahid Afridi praised Sarfaraz Ahmed for his performance against New Zealand.

"Sarfaraz proved his selection right, excellent performance for him under pressure," the former Pakistan skipper tweeted.