PSL 2024 – Sarfaraz Ahmed set to be replaced as captain at Quetta Gladiators

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Quetta Gladiators are thinking about Sarfaraz Ahmed‘s future as captain of the side. While the timeline on the final decision is not yet clear, ESPNcricinfo understands that the general consensus at the franchise is that he should be replaced, ending an eight-year stint at the helm.
Gladiators have already reshuffled their backroom staff, most notably with Moin Khan moving on from head coach to a directorship role. He has been replaced by former Gladiators player Shane Watson as coach. Former Pakistan bowling coach Shaun Tait has also been appointed as the side’s fast-bowling coach as Gladiators look to turn around their fortunes – they have gone from being the most consistent PSL side to the most underperforming over the past four years.
Watson will be sounded out for his opinion on the situation soon, and there is no concrete information around a possible replacement, but Rilee Rossouw, who returned to Gladiators after a stint with Multan Sultans, and Saud Shakeel, whose leadership is rated highly in domestic circles, are likely to be among the frontrunners.

While Gladiators owner Nadeem Omar told the Relukattay podcast earlier this week he remained “double-minded” over whether to replace Sarfaraz as captain. There is no desire to cast the only captain the franchise has ever known out, with Omar criticising the PCB for doing just that when Sarfaraz was sacked as Pakistan skipper. He said it “would be nicer” if Sarfaraz handed the captaincy away on his own and that Sarfaraz had even agreed to do so if required.

“It is the elephant in the room,” Omar said. “Wherever I go, people ask me this. But our franchise is a bit different from the others in the sense that we have a very intimate relationship with these players. I understand cricketers have a shelf life, but I think over Pakistan history, we tend to dump players unceremoniously.

“Sarfaraz has been off the boil over the last couple of years. There are a lot of reasons for that – the way he was unceremoniously ousted by the PCB didn’t help, especially when he had a few more years. We won’t dump him unceremoniously. We haven’t decided yet but we’ll give him full honours. Sarfaraz told me he would be happy to step aside if Quetta wants to make a change. We have a call with Shane Watson in a couple of days and then we’ll decide.”

Sarfaraz, 36, was appointed Gladiators captain when the league was inaugurated in 2016, and led his side to the final. Weeks later, he was appointed Pakistan’s white-ball captain, and led the national side to the 2017 Champions Trophy title. He led Gladiators to the PSL title in 2019, but fading form saw him sacked as Pakistan captain from all three formats within a year, and he was dropped from the national side.

But Gladiators’ form has fallen away dramatically since. They have missed qualifying for the playoffs the last four years, and finished bottom or second from bottom each time.

Sarfaraz is currently in Australia with Pakistan’s Test side, and played the opening Test in Perth, which Australia won by 360 runs.

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