Sarfraz Ahmed will continue as Pakistan captain at the World Cup in May despite serving a suspension for breaching the anti-racism code, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani said on Tuesday.
Sarfraz was suspended for four matches by the International Cricket Council (ICC) when an on-field taunt aimed at South Africa's Andile Phehlukwayo was caught by stump microphones. Sarfraz admitted the offence and apoligised for his conduct.
"Sarfraz will remain Pakistan captain until the World Cup, I was always clear in my mind that Sarfraz would be the captain," Mani told reporters in Lahore.
"He will remain so until any other decision is taken," Mani added, saying Sarfraz's performance as captain would be evaluated only after the World Cup."
The PCB had rallied in support of Sarfraz, saying they were disappointed by the ICC's decision to suspend him after the matter had been resolved, and Mani backed him to lead the team.
The 31-year-old wicketkeeper, who led Pakistan to the ICC Champions Trophy title in 2017, was thankful for the board's support.
"The past few weeks have been extremely difficult for me as a person and professional, but I am delighted that the PCB has reassured its confidence and faith in me," Sarfraz said.
"In the lead up to the World Cup, Pakistan will play five ODIs each against Australia and England, which will also allow us the opportunity to further fine-tune our preparations."
Pakistan, who last won the World Cup in 1992, will begin their campaign against West Indies at Trent Bridge on May 31. The final of the 50-over tournament is scheduled for Sunday July 14.
Sri Lanka drop captain Chandimal for South Africa tour
Sri Lanka have dropped out-of-form test captain Dinesh Chandimal ahead of their tour of South Africa and appointed Dimuth Karunaratne as stand-in skipper, the country's cricket board said on Tuesday.
Chandimal scored just 24 runs at an average of 6 as Sri Lanka suffered a 2-0 Test series defeat in Australia, extending the team's winless run to seven matches.
The right-handed batsman has played 53 Tests for Sri Lanka in all, racking up 11 centuries and averaging a respectable 41.86 runs.
"The national selectors released Dinesh Chandimal from his duties as captain and player of the national test team to play domestic cricket to regain his form and be ready for future international tours," Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
Middle order batsman Roshen Silva and allrounder Dilruwan Perera, who both toured Australia, were also left out of the 17-man squad.
Sri Lanka will tour South Africa from Feb. 6 to March 24, playing two Tests, five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches. The Test series begins in Durban on Feb. 13.
Sri Lanka Test squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya
Brathwaite to captain West Indies in third England Test
West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite will captain the team in place of the suspended Jason Holder when they face England in the third and final Test starting in St Lucia on Saturday, Cricket West Indies said.
Holder was banned by the International Cricket Council because of his team's slow over rate during the second match in Antigua, which the hosts won by 10 wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Brathwaite previously skippered West Indies in their series defeat by Bangladesh in November when Holder was injured.
"With Jason Holder missing out on the last test, Kraigg Brathwaite will take the reins of captaincy," chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne said.
The selectors added pace bowler Keemo Paul to the 14-member squad while Alzarri Joseph, whose mother died during the second Test, was also included.
"Our heartfelt condolences to Alzarri and his family on the passing of his mother. His heroics in the Test were outstanding and shows a player of great character," Browne added.
"We also welcome Keemo Paul back to the squad. He's having a good showing in the West Indies first-class championship."
Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.