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Sports

June 20, 2017

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Sarfraz named ICC Champions Trophy Team skipper

Sarfraz named ICC Champions Trophy Team skipper

KARACHI: Sarfraz Ahmed, who led Pakistan to title triumph in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at The Oval on Sunday, has been named as captain of the ‘Team of ICC Champion Trophy’.

The team has players of five countries, including four from Pakistan. Fakhar Zaman, Hassan Ali and Junaid Khan have also been picked for the team.

The side was selected by a jury of cricket experts, which comprised former captains Michael Atherton of England, India’s Sourav Ganguly, Ramiz Raja of Pakistan as well as Lawrence Booth (Editor, Wisden Almanack and cricket writer, The Mail) and Julian Guyer (cricket correspondent, Agence France-Presse), with ICC General Manager — Cricket, Geoff Allardice, as chairman.

The jury was tasked with picking a balanced side on the basis of performances in the tournament. Statistics were used, but were not the sole basis for selection.

The side includes three Indians, three Englishmen and one Bangladeshi, with Kane Williamson of New Zealand as the 12th man.

The Team (in batting order) is Shikhar Dhawan (India) (338 runs), Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan) (252 runs), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh) (293 runs), Virat Kohli (India) (258 runs), Joe Root (England) (258 runs), Ben Stokes (England) (184 runs and three wickets), Sarfraz Ahmed (Pakistan) (captain) (wicketkeeper) (76 runs and nine dismissals), Adil Rashid (England) (seven wickets), Junaid Khan (Pakistan) (eight wickets), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India) (seven wickets), Hassan Ali (Pakistan) (13 wickets) and Kane Williamson (New Zealand (12th) (244 runs).

Dhawan and Hassan had already won the Golden Bat and the Gold Ball trophies for finishing as the most successful batsman and bowler, respectively. Tamim was selected after driving Bangladesh to their maiden semi-final in a major ICC event.

Fakhar was picked as Dhawan’s opening partner after he aggregated 252 runs in four matches at a strike-rate of 113, with scores of 31 against South Africa, 50 against Sri Lanka, 57 against England in the semi-final and 114 against India in the final.

Pakistan had entered the tournament ranked eighth on the ICC ODI Team Rankings, but courtesy its victories against higher-ranked sides, finished in the sixth place, which means it now looks well set to qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

“To be appointed as captain of the Team of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, which includes some of the finest and most attractive cricketers of this generation, is the perfect icing on the cake,” remarked Sarfraz.

“But I am more happy and delighted for players like Fakhar Zaman and Hassan Ali, who impressed their peers through their talent and performances, and found their way in the side. These two lads, plus Shadab Khan, are the future of Pakistan cricket and I sincerely hope they will only go in the upward direction from here.

“The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has been a fairy tale journey for the Pakistan cricket team. The event showed the team’s grit and ability to bounce back solidly when the chips are down,” Sarfraz said.

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