After Pakistan’s 169-run defeat at the hands of England in the third ODI, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is considering Sarfraz Ahmed as a potential replacement for one-day captain Azhar Ali.

A PCB official told APP on condition of anonymity that after the national team’s poor show against England, there have been talks in the board for the dismissal of Azhar as captain.

England beat Pakistan by 44 runs in the first ODI, while in the second ODI the visitors were defeated by four wickets. Most recently, Pakistan suffered an embarrassing 169-run defeat in the third ODI, losing the series 3-0.

“After this series, Pakistan will play a series against the West Indies, New Zealand and Australia,” the official said. “There are chances that a new captain may be given the responsibility in these upcoming series.”

The official said that vice-captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed is the most likely and suitable replacement. “If Azhar is removed, then definitely Sarfraz will be given the responsibility.”

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram also believes that wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed is the obvious choice to replace Azhar as the ODI captain.

While talking to a local news channel, Wasim said it is the right time to hand over the captaincy to the 29-year-old.

“I think it is the right time to give responsibility to Sarfaraz and make him ODI captain. He is a performer under pressure and he can bring about a change,” said the legendary bowler.

Cricket legends react to Pakistan's defeat

PCB’s decision to appoint Azhar Ali as ODI captain has been criticised by several legends cricketers, including former captains Rashid Latif and Javed Miandad.

Rashid said he had suggested to PCB Chairman Shahryar Khan against appointing Azhar Ali as the national side’s captain, but he proceeded with the appointment and now the whole country is regretting his decision.

Javed Miandad, on the other hand, believes the board should admit its mistake of appointing right-hand batsman Azhar Ali as the captain of the flailing ODI side.

“It is time for the PCB to admit they made a mistake in appointing Azhar as the ODI captain and appoint someone else for the series against the West Indies next month,” said Miandad in an interview.

“It made no sense to appoint Azhar last year when he was not in the ODI team since 2013,” he added.

Another former captain and famous commentator Ramiz Raja said that he is concerned about Azhar Ali, who he believes can suffer at the Test level after coming under enormous pressure following three back to back defeats against England in the ongoing series.

“I am just concerned that eventually all this pressure and criticism might affect his Test cricket performances,” said Ramiz Raja.

Former head coach Mohsin Khan said that he believes it’s a big test for new coach Mickey Arthur to turn the team’s fortune in the limited overs cricket.

“Where are we going in this format?” questioned Mohsin. “I believe it is going to be a big challenge now for Mickey Arthur to replicate his success of the Test matches into limited over cricket.”