Sarfaraz Ahmed to lead Pakistan in 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup
Sports Scene

Pakistan have confirmed that Sarfaraz Ahmed will be their captain for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Dispelling recent rumors about a change in the leadership, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani officially announced Ahmed's name for the coveted role at a press conference in Lahore on Tuesday.

While addressing the media, Mani, who is also the former chairman of the ICC, hailed Ahmed for his skills both as a captain and cricketer.

Praising his captain, Mani said, "There should be no doubt that Sarfaraz is the Pakistan cricket team's captain. He will lead the team in the series against Australia and also in the World Cup."

Sarfaraz Ahmed (R) of Pakistan and his family pose with the Trophy during the ICC Champions Trophy Final match between India and Pakistan at The Oval in London, UK, June 18, 2017. /VCG Photo

Sarfaraz Ahmed (R) of Pakistan and his family pose with the Trophy during the ICC Champions Trophy Final match between India and Pakistan at The Oval in London, UK, June 18, 2017. /VCG Photo

"I was always clear in my mind that Sarfaraz would be the captain. Sarfaraz has been an integral part of Pakistan's World Cup preparations. He has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer," he added.

Ahmed, who first came into the limelight while leading Pakistan's team to victory in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup against India, accompanied Mani at the media briefing and thanked the PCB for providing him with the opportunity to lead his country at the quadrennial event, getting underway in May this year in England and Wales.

He said, "I feel proud to be joining the list of cricketers that led the Pakistan cricket team into world cups in the past. We will try our best to perform well there."

"I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with committed support staff in the dressing room," the skipper remarked.

Pakistan wicket keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed celebrates taking the wicket of South African captain AB De Villiers during the Pool B 2015 Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, March 7, 2015. /VCG Photo

Pakistan wicket keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed celebrates taking the wicket of South African captain AB De Villiers during the Pool B 2015 Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, March 7, 2015. /VCG Photo

Pakistan will play five ODIs each against Australia and England in the run-up to the World Cup.

Since making his debut against India in Jaipur in November 2007, the 31-year-old wicket-keeper-batsman, has played in 101 One-Day Internationals and led his side in 35 matches. 

He has amassed 1,942 runs in ODIs till date and has got 121 dismissals under his belt as a wicketkeeper. Under his captaincy, Pakistan have won 21 limited over games. 

This will also be his second World Cup appearance as he played three matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, scoring 160 runs as an opener and caught six batsmen behind the stumps.