“I hope you have the courage to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, from anything that fails to inspire your mind. I hope you have the courage to grow, to change, to do things differently than what is expected of you, to step back and seek out the kinds of things that ignite passion and excitement within your very bones. But most of all, I hope you have the courage to forgive yourself, for all of the times you did not have the courage to believe that you deserved more than the kind of life you were settling for.”
– Bianca Sparacino
Isn’t this world full of such things? Sarfraz, who managed to pick up a record-breaking six wickets as a keeper, along with a spirited 49 as an opener, in his debut World Cup match in 2015, lead his side as a captain for around 2 years, got sacked yesterday.
It was the World Cup 2015, in the middle of nowhere, after consistent losses against ranked teams in their first two matches, Pakistan facing do and die situation against the mighty South Africans and then, the underdogs did a change in their batting order by opening the scorer with Sarfraz as an opening batsman. It was then Pakistani fans realized that they have found a new ray of hope in the middle of a war for survival. Sarfraz played a brilliant knock of 49 off 49 balls and took 6 record-breaking wickets as a keeper. It was that time of the year when Pakistan lost fewer catches but more matches through the hands of Akmal family. Fans thought they had found a hero, a warrior and more prominently, a match-winner in terms of a wicketkeeper.
Time passed as Pakistan, through the sensible innings by Sarfraz, reached the semis of champions trophy by knocking out SriLanka though Sarfraz lacked consistency throughout the tournament. Through his brilliant captaincy in semis and finals, with the full performance of each and every single member of his team, Pakistan clinched the Champions Trophy by beating India in the final by a fair margin.
It is said that there is the right time to leave and then there is the perfect time to leave.
Bold steps are taken when all the positives are in your bag. He had all of them. At least leaving captaincy was an option then but he took this long that he played further on, various series and the World Cup 2019 but this time the fitness played a vital role. His performance went down by miles and it looked like he can’t even cross the inner ring to hit the boundaries.
After returning home on the low net run rate in the World Cup 2019, his confidence put him in trouble as his side got whitewashed in the T20I series against Sri Lanka which according to cricket experts was a C team in comparison with Pakistan national Team.
This isn’t the first time that PCB sacked their captain after a drop in his overall performance. Afridi, Hafeez and many more are the perfect examples but this was one of the harsh dismissals as PCB made this decision public through a press release before the captain made an announcement. Before this, the common practice used to be the captain’s announcement of resigning from the captaincy but this didn’t happen yesterday.
The captain with a unique record in T20Is, who made his side number one in the world, how got sacked, has an answer in the quote mentioned at the beginning of this article. Sarfraz was a hero, is a hero and will always be remembered as one of the most successful captains in Pakistan’s history except the part he missed after winning the Champions trophy. He surely has time to sit back and figure out things, work on his fitness and make a comeback the way he did on March 7, 2015, in the field of Auckland where his mid-on sixes brought entertainment to the fans when they had very little to expect from their team. To close this scattered piece, very few know that Sarfraz made his International debut in 2007 and it took 8 years for him to take his place on the national side and who knows, time doesn’t remain the same.