These are critical times for Pakistan cricket and tough decisions on part of the PCB hierarchy have become mandatory to revive a disjointed national team. The induction of Sarfraz has been widely acclaimed because he was the most obvious candidate to fill the breach.
Knowing him from the time he led Pakistan Under-19s to World Cup glory in early 2006, one can say without being biased that Sarfraz, indeed, deserves this promotion. It is an overdue reward for the pains and hard work this never-say-die cricketer has gone through to become the most valuable player of all three current Pakistan teams.
It has been a gradual rise for him. Behind the scene, a number of dedicated individuals have been a great source of inspiration for someone who was destined to lead the country. During my long career in sports journalism, I have seldom seen anyone work as hard as Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Sarfraz. Their work ethic as sportsmen is astounding.
Even in the twilight of their careers, none can match the fitness levels or dedication of either Misbah or Younis, and Sarfraz has been following the two stalwarts with almost the same zeal and energy. When not playing top-level cricket, Sarfraz can be easily spotted at one of the grounds in Karachi, grinding away conscientiously to improve both his fitness and game.
And whenever time permits, he is always available to fulfill his commitments with the Pakistan Cricket Club, the famed KCCA Zone-VI side which is arguably the most formidable club team in the country. This club has a proud history of nurturing a number of Pakistan cricketers. Current Test batsman Asad Shafiq also regularly turns out for the club as do Shan Masood, Anwar Ali, Rumman Raees Khan, Rameez Raja Jr.
Well-known cricket promoter Nadeem Omar the Pakistan Cricket Club president who also heads two other clubs and became globally prominent as the proud owner of Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Quetta Gladiators has had played a huge role in the progress of Sarfraz.