ISLAMABAD    -     The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has finally sacked out-of-sort captain Sarfraz Ahmed and replaced him with Azhar Ali as Pakistan Test captain, but surprisingly, the confused board didn’t announce any deputy for longer version of the game.

It was long on the cards that despite huge pressure from Karachi lobby, the PCB is going to replace under-performing Sarfraz in all three formats and Azhar’s appointment is not much surprise, as he had scored loads of runs in the Test matches for Pakistan, but his previous stint as national team skipper is also no secret to all.

It was ideal time, when the PCB should have announced Babar Azam as deputy to Azhar Ali in the longer version, keeping in mind long-term future of Pakistan cricket. But like witnessed in the past, the PCB never takes decisions in time rather waits till the pressure mounts and then takes decisions in haste.

The PCB should have opted for Imad Wasim for T20s as well as for ODIs instead of appointing Babar as T20 captain. Imad is a proven stuff and had captained the domestic sides. He also was captain of Pakistan team for a brief period and Babar could have learnt a lot while playing under Imad. Now in-form Babar is likely to suffer under double pressure.

The questions arise here that why is the PCB reluctant to appoint a selection committee and why is Misbah not kept for just one role? Nadeem Khan has no experience of handling such a high-profile role. It was best time for the PCB to appoint former captain Rashid Latif chief selector and any former great batting coach and let Misbah carry on as head coach. A person like Misbah, who couldn’t handle the pressure against weak Sri Lankan side and avoided harsh questions by giving childish replies, shouldn’t be put under the burden of three roles.

After facing humiliating 3-0 drubbing, Pakistan team is set to embark on a very crucial Australian tour, where it has to play three T20s and two Test matches. The national side’s previous record against the Kangroos is highly bleak and there is every possibility that the Australians might bash Pakistan in both T20 and Test matches.

It is high time when Misbah and PCB should come up with different game plan and above all, Misbah must shun his defensive approach and try to be aggressive as it is only way out for him and Pakistan team, or else, the masses and national team are bound to suffer more and more.

There is an urgent need for the PCB to give shut up call to the conspirators, who are trying their best to protect Sarfraz Ahmed and trying to present him as national hero. Sarfraz had a very mixed tenure as captain and all the achievements during his era were due to team efforts. His personal performances both as wicketkeeper and as batsman are no secret to all. He doesn’t even deserve a place in starting XI, rather being carrying on as captain, Pakistan badly need power-hitters in Australia.

Pakistan team is badly struggling in opening department, as Fakhar and Imam couldn’t provide solid opening stands on regular basis. It is high time when the PCB should opt for fresh blood like Rohail Nazir, an excellent wicketkeeper batsman, emerging all-rounder Ali Imran and others, but the board and Misbah are reluctant to provide opportunities to genuine talent.

Waqar Younis was a super flop in all the previous assignments and he had also destroyed careers of many talented players in the past. It is hoped CEO Wasim Khan, who had made lot of tall claims, finally wake up from deep slump and intervene to ensure youth must be given their due rights, or else masses must not expect anything over-the-moon from Misbah and company. Ehsan Mani must not fully rely on Wasim Khan rather seek answers from him and his company. It is hoped that PM Imran Khan will seek complete report from the PCB and take stern action against all those, who are responsible for playing with the future of youth and destroying careers of many.