Sarfraz Ahmed Denies Differences With Coach Waqar Younis
Pakistan wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, who played an important role in his team's World Cup victory over South Africa on Saturday, has shrugged reported differences between him and head coach Waqar Younis.
Sarfraz was dropped from the Pakistan side for the first four matches of the tournament against India, West Indies, Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates with Umar Akmal replacing him as a makeshift wicket-keeper.
However, the failure of Nasir Jamshed at the top of the order allowed Sarfraz to make a return against South Africa and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands with a man-of-the-match performance helping his team to a 29-run win.
“I have all the respect for our coach Waqar Younis and all the reports, rumors are unwarranted,” said Sarfraz in an interview with the Pakistan Cricket Board website.
“Waqar bhai fully supported and backed me with captain Misbah ul Haq and Coach Mushtaq Ahmed,” he said.
The 27-year-old further made it clear that the intention of the team is not to just qualify for the quarter-finals but also to make it to the final.
“Team was united and not only looking forward to qualify for the quarterfinal. But play in the final.”
Earlier Waqar justified his move of excluding Sarfraz in the first four matches of the World Cup as the team management wanted to give the specialist opening batsman Jamshed a decent run in the tournament.
"Sarfraz no doubt is an asset to Pakistan cricket and he has proved it over the time,” said Waqar reacting to criticism of excluding Sarfraz from the team.
“We had given him quite a few games before the World Cup as an opener and he looked totally out of sorts, as you have to understand he is not a genuine opener. He is a makeshift opener.
"We gave Nasir Jamshed a fair chance to do well in the World Cup as he is our specialist opener.
“But once he didn't come good we had no choice but to look back at Sarfraz,” added Waqar.
With six points from five games, Pakistan will play Ireland in their last World Cup league encounter on 15th March at the Adelaide Oval.
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