At a time when cricket spheres in Pakistan are discussion whether to hand over the captaincy from Azhar Ali to Sarfraz Ahmed, it is worth noting that captaincy is definitely a critical problem facing the country right now.
This is manifestly obvious from the fact that three out of the five franchises in the upcoming second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have foreign captains this time around.
Peshawar Zalmi, which already have two former Pakistan captains Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez, will be seen in the action under the guidance of West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy. The 33-year-old, who led his Caribbean side to victories in the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cups, was offered the captainship for PSL 2017 by Afridi, who had captained Zalmi in the earlier season.
Meanwhile, the 42-year-old Misbah, under whose captainship Islamabad United won the opening PSL edition last year, will be seen captaining his side this time as well.
Karachi Kings will be skippered by Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara this time. The 39-year-old batsman has retired from all formats of international cricket.
Sarfraz Ahmed, like last time, is captaining Quetta Gladiators this PSL too. Sarfraz is the captain of Pakistan T20 team and vice- captain of the ODI team. At 29 years of age, the wicketkeeper-batsman is the youngest captain in PSL 2017.
Azhar Ali, who is struggling to save his ODI captaincy, has been replaced by New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum as captain of Lahore Qalandars. The 35-year-old former Black Caps captain led New Zealand to their first ever World Cup final in 2015, where they were eventually defeated by Australia. McCullum declared his retirement from international cricket last year.
All these five captains are scheduled for a joint press conference on February 6 at the launch ceremony of the PSL 2017 trophy. It is worth recalling that all five captains in last year’s PSL were Pakistani players. However, the Karachi Kings captain at that time, Shoaib Malik, had handed over his captaincy to England’s Ravi Bopara halfway through the tournament.