Sarfraz replaces Azhar as Pakistan ODI captain


Azhar Ali has taken the decision to quit as captain of Pakistan's one-day international side, with Sarfraz Ahmed stepping in as his replacement.

Azhar's position had come under intense scrutiny in recent months, with Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan asking him to consider resigning as far back as September.

That followed a 4-1 defeat in England and although Pakistan completed a 3-0 whitewash of West Indies in October, Azhar's place as captain was described as "shaky" by Khan in December.

And another 4-1 hammering - this time in Australia last month - appears to have pushed Azhar into stepping down.

"Azhar agreed to relinquish his captaincy as he believed that his batting is being effected due to extra burden of leadership," Khan told ESPNcricinfo. 

"I respect his decision and he will continue to play as batsman in one-day team, but now we all decided that Sarfraz will be handed the ODI captaincy."

Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz, already the skipper of Pakistan's T20 side, will be without the services of Azhar for their next ODI against West Indies in April, due to a suspension for slow over rates against Australia.