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Azhar Ali steps down as Pakistan ODI captain

Azhar Ali is also on a one-match suspension for his team's poor over-rate in Australia
Azhar Ali is also on a one-match suspension for his team's poor over-rate in Australia
©REUTERS MEDIA EXPRESS
 

Pakistan One-Day International captain has decided to step down from his role following the 4-1 series defeat against Australia in the recently concluded tour.

The decision comes after Pakistan have slipped to an all-time low of ninth position in the International Cricket Council rankings and are in danger of missing a direct qualification to the 2019 World Cup to be played in England and Wales.

Ever since he took over the reins in April 2015, Pakistan have lost 18 and won 12 in the 31 games under Ali.

Prior to the start of the ODI series in Australia, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan had stated that the series outcome will decide the fate of Ali as the captain.

He is also set to miss the next ODI for Pakistan in the upcoming tour of West Indies following the slow over-rate maintained during the series against Australia.

Meanwhile, Khan has also announced T20I skipper Sarfraz Ahmed as the new ODI captain of Pakistan.

"Azhar agreed to relinquish his captaincy as he believed that his batting is being effected due to extra burden of leadership," Khan told ESPNcricinfo.

"I respect his decision and he will continue to play as batsman in one day team, but now we all decided that Sarfraz will be handed the ODI captaincy."

Sarfraz has already captained Pakistan in four T20Is and a lonely ODI against Zimbabwe while he is also set to lead Quetta Gladiators for the second successive season in Pakistan Super League.

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