Sarfaraz Ahmed is a Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman who plays for Pakistani national cricket team. He is the current captain of the Pakistan cricket team in all formats of the game.
Sarfaraz Ahmed was born on 22 May 1987 in Karachi, Pakistan to a family with a printing press business. His mother, Akeela Banu, has ancestors from Uttar Pradesh, India and his father died in 2006.
Sarfaraz’s notable achievement during the early days of his career was winning the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2006 where he led the Pakistani team and defeated India in the final in a low-scoring encounter.
Sarfaraz was called up by Pakistan as a cover for Kamran Akmal who had a finger injury in the one-day series between India and Pakistan in November 2007. He made his ODI debut in the final match of the series, on 18 November 2007. He didn’t get a chance to bat as Pakistan had won the match before he was needed to bat.
In 2008, Sarfaraz was selected ahead of Kamran Akmal for the Asia Cup.
He made his Test match debut in Hobart on 14 January 2010, in the third Test match against Australia, replacing Kamran Akmal who suffered an “error-ridden performance” in the second Test. He was dropped again after one match.
Sarfaraz returned to the international team for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in November 2011 and for the subsequent series against Bangladesh and the Asia Cup. In the final of the tournament he scored a crucial 46 not out (the highest score from his team) as Pakistan won the match by 2 runs. He was consequently rewarded a Category C contract and selected for Pakistan’s next series against Sri Lanka, again for T20s.
In 2015, Sarfaraz was selected for 2015 Cricket World Cup but did not get a chance to play in the first four matches. Due to the first frequent losses, he was selected for Pakistan’s fifth match of the event against South Africa where he scored 49 runs off 49 balls and took 6 catches as wicket-keeper to equal the one day international record for most dismissals(6 dismissals). Also he equalled Adam Gilchrist’s record for the most dismissals as a wicketkeeper in a single World Cup innings(6). He was rewarded with the Man of the Match award. In his second match in the world cup he scored 101* against Ireland and he was again named the Man of the Match. The win gave Pakistan a spot in the Quarterfinals of the World Cup.
After Misbah retired from the ODI format of the game after 2015 Cricket World Cup, Sarfraz was emerging to be a potential successor. However the PCB went with Azhar Ali for the captaincy and considering Sarfaraz led the Pakistan U-19 team, appointed him as the vice captain of the ODI team.
During the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle, Sarfaraz stabilized the Pakistan innings with a knock of 96 runs in just 85 balls, falling just four runs short of a century when he was bowled by Sri Lankan pacer Dhammika Prasad. During his knock he became the 7th Pakistani wicketkeeper to reach 1000 Test runs, in 28 inns, jointly the fastest Pakistani wicket-keeper with Imtiaz Ahmed. The knock also earned him the Man of the Match award.
Due to a foot injury sustained by usual One day captain Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz became the captain for the third ODI against Zimbabwe on 5 October 2015. He recorded first win in his debut match as captain.
After a horrendous T20 World Cup 2016 campaign, the T20I captain Shahid Afridi was sacked and the PCB appointed Sarfaraz captain of the national T20 team on 5 April 2016. He won his first match in the only T20I against England by nine wickets. Later his team defeated the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 champions, West Indies with a whitewash in a 3 match series. Pakistan is Number 1 in T20 Internationals as of November 2018. Under his captaincy Pakistan won 11 consecutive T20 series. The teams included West-indies, Australia, New Zealand, England & Zimbabwe against which Pakistan won the series. Pakistan also white-washed the opponent in a bilateral series on 5 occasions under his captaincy.
On 9 February 2017 following the resignation of then captain Azhar Ali from ODI captaincy, Sarfaraz Ahmed was chosen to succeed him thus making him a full time limited overs captain of Pakistan. He was also made vice-captain for the Pakistan Test team. In his first series as ODI captain, Pakistan beat West Indies 2–1.
His first major tournament as the captain was 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. In the pool matches, Pakistan lost to India, but went on to win against South Africa and Sri Lanka to enter semi-finals. In the semi-final, Pakistan beat the hosts England comprehensively to enter Pakistan’s first Champions Trophy final. In the final against arch-rivals India, Pakistan posted a massive total of 338 and won the match convincingly to become the champions.
Sarfaraz was picked by Quetta Gladiators in the PSL players draft on 21 December 2015. He was selected to be the franchise captain for the 2016 season. He led the Gladiators all the way through to the final, losing only two matches before it. But still his team just couldn’t make it and they lost in the final to Islamabad United. In the second season 2017 he once again led Quetta to the final, but Quetta lost by 58 runs against Peshawar. Which meant that Quetta had lost the PSL final for the second time in a row. In the third season (2018) Quetta Gladiators not manage to qualify for the final. He is once again chosen to play the fourth season of Pakistan Super League 2019 and lead the team as a captain & won the title.
- PCB’s Outstanding Player of the year: 2017
- Sitara-e-Imtiaz (2018) – Pakistan’s third highest civilian award
- PCB’s Spirit of cricket award: 2018