LAHORE - Former Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has vowed to make a ‘memorable’ comeback after he was named in the 29-member national squad for the team’s much-anticipated England tour later this year. 

“I am positive about the opportunity now and I will try to give out my best whenever I get a chance in order to regain my regular place in the team. I want to make my comeback memorable with a stellar performance for the team. Ups and downs are part and parcel of a player’s career,” Sarfraz said this during a videoconferene with sports journalists here on Saturday. 

Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to play three Tests and as many T20Is against England between August 5 to September 1. Sarfraz, who last played for Pakistan in October last year, also earned a place in the line-up. “When I was captain of the national team, I was more focused on how the team performed but now I will be able to focus on my own performance,” said the wicketkeeper batsman. 

When asked whether he had thought of quitting cricket after being sacked from the national team as a captain, Sarfraz replied: “When I was captain of the national team, I tried my best to lead the side in the best possible manner and helped it record crucial victories and when I was out, I kept on working hard on my fitness and game and I was very hopeful of getting berth in the national squad again. I am glad that I am recalled in the side and I will try to give out my best and cement my place in the national team.” 

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq had said after squad announcement that Sarfraz had been included in the squad as a back-up stumper behind Mohammad Rizwan considering their lengthy tour of England. On this, the former captain said: “As far as being a back-up wicket keeper is concerned, I am not worried about being the first or second choice. I am happy that I am back in the team and having two wicketkeepers is good for the team. We have seen this in the past with Moin Khan and Rashid Latif.” 

Replying to another query, the former captain said: “Yes, the break of 7 to 8 months that I got after being sacked as a captain had helped me a lot. Now when I will make a comeback, I will play with more energy without any pressure, so it will help me in not only cementing a berth in the national team but also play some remarkable innings to guide my side crucial triumphs.” 

Talking about the coaching staff, Sarfraz said: “We have very big names in our coaching staff including Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Younis Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed, which, I can say, one of the strongest coaching staffs that any cricket team has. With such a strong staff, hopefully our team will train very well and try to perform exceptionally against the English side.” 

The two teams will lock horns against each other in the shorter format after the conclusion of England’s three-match Test series against the West Indies, starting from July 8, which will also mark the resumption of cricket after the sport was suspended in March due to coronavirus pandemic.