KARACHI - Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is a happy man. He led the side for the first time in his home town, completed a 3-0 whitewash of the West Indies and saw the series end without any untoward incident; vindicating the visitors’ decision to travel to Pakistan.

However, there are those who are trying to dampen the sense of achievement by pointing out that the West Indies were missing several key players; not least skipper Carlos Brathwaite and star turn Chris Gayle. Sarfraz, though, is having none of it.

“We deserved to win,” said the skipper after the third match. “We played better than our opponent and the players need to be given credit for that.”

Sarfraz, also refuted the notion that the West Indies side was a weak one. “Eight of the players in this squad were part of their last squad as well,” pointed out the skipper.

The 30-year-old then went on to praise the crowd. “The people of Karachi have shown the world that the city can host international cricket once again,” he said. “The fans deserve all the praise in the world. They put up with all the inconveniences that they had to face in order to come and watch us play. The stadium was full in all three matches and the fans need to be praised for that.” Sarfraz urged other international side to follow West Indies’s lead and travel to Pakistan.

“There is no reason now for any team to not tour the country, he said. “A World XI side assembled by the International Cricket Council (ICC) has now toured the country, so have Sri Lanka and West Indies. The Pakistan Super League final took place in Karachi this year and in Lahore last year. I don’t think security concerns are a valid excuse any longer.”

Sarfraz has won all seven series as Pakistan skipper and the wicketkeeper batsman believes the abundance of talent at his disposal makes his job much easier.

“A lot of good young talent has come through in the past few years,” he said. “The selection committee and the team management deserve credit for this since we are trying to give everyone a chance.”

Pakistan rested their two main pacers —Hasan Ali and Muhammad Amir — for the third game but Sarfraz said they were still treating that game as a must win.

“We knew we had to win today in order to cement our grip on the top spot in ICC’s T20I rankings,” he said. “Shaheen Afridi came into the side, while bowlers like Hasan and Amir were on the bench, but we still managed to win.”

The competition for places and the management’s eagerness to try new players mean that a lot of the players find themselves in and out of the side, but Sarfraz urged them to not be disheartened.

“Those who have been dropped from the national side can still make a comeback,” he said. “It isn’t like their chances have ended. Of course, expectations of the national side are very high now and they keep on increasing with every win. Being the captain of the national team is not easy since you have to take all the blame if the side loses, but hopefully we can ensure that results remain as good as they have been in the recent past.”