Azhar Ali steps down as Pakistan skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmed to fill in his shoes?

Pressure has been building on Azhar Ali following Pakistan's poor performances against Australia and England.

After the pathetic run in Australia and England Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali has decided to step aside from the post of captain.

The decision to step down was taken after consultation with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan in Dubai.

“Azhar met me today and offered to step down as one-day captain as he says it has been affecting his own performances,” Khan told the media in Dubai.

“I have spoken to Sarfaraz Ahmed and he has given his consent to take over as the ODI captain,” Khan said.

“We have appointed Sarfaraz as the new ODI captain,” he added.

The PCB chief said that Azhar had been forthright and said he felt the pressures of captaincy were not allowing him to focus on his own batting performances. Quite understandable looking at his impressive batting performances it feels bad to see him feeling the ills of captaincy that is taking a toll on his own batting.

Azhar, who turns 32 this month was a surprise choice to lead Pakistan in ODI cricket after Shahid Afridi and Misbah retired from one-day cricket after the World Cup 2015. The board preferred him although he had not played any ODI matches since 2013.

With pressure building on him to step down after he led Pakistan in 31 matches, Azhar’s decision to quit has not come as a surprise in the Pakistan cricket circles.

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