Former skipper of Pakistan cricket team, Sarfaraz Ahmed racked up appreciation on social media for carrying drinks for players during the first test match between England and Pakistan.
Yesterday, the image of Sarfaraz Ahmed carrying drinks for the players circulated on social media. The image triggered a strong reaction from the fans and followers of veteran cricketer Sarfaraz Ahmed. While they appreciated the cricketer for taking up the task with humility, they also flaked the management of PCB including head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
Really makes me feel sad that Sarfaraz Ahmed is actually the one serving drinks and not any junior player. Like man really brought us The Champions trophy. Ive never seen Shahid Afridi being the 12th man ever.
— GM (@GM491) August 6, 2020
Sarfaraz Ahmed: carrying drinks for players
They argued that it was disrespectful for the team management to make Sarfaraz Ahmed ‘water boy’ when any other junior player could have carried drinks for the players. Some even went on to accuse head coach Misbah-ul-Haq of discriminating against former skipper.
I never thought that Sarfaraz Ahmed would come to serve water as 12th man. Its a disrespect to Ex Captain, who led the team in Champion Trophy in England and won for his country. Feeling really sad for this.#ENGvPAK #testcricket #OldTrafford pic.twitter.com/GbnHIvXfI5
— Ifi Raja (@Ifiraja) August 6, 2020
However, a group of Twitter users said that there is no shame in carrying drinks for teammates. Sarfaraz Ahmed should be appreciated for exuding remarkable sportsmanship like veteran players Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, and others.
Social media users including Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Ali Haider Zaidi also hailed Sarfaraz Ahmed for showing humility instead of expressing arrogance.
“Lot of respect for@SarfarazA_54 after looking at this picture. Ex captain of a winning squad bringing in shoes for a youngster who has played under him. The man has shown no ego but has shown a lot of pride. #Respect” wrote Ali Haider Zaidi on Twitter.
Lot of respect for @SarfarazA_54 after looking at this picture. Ex captain of a winning squad bringing in shoes for a youngster who has played under him.
The man has shown no ego but has shown a lot of pride. #Respect pic.twitter.com/d8EYjgPye5
— Ali Haider Zaidi (@AliHZaidiPTI) August 6, 2020
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz Ahmed is making a comeback through the ongoing series after being dropped from all formats of cricket last year. He was stripped off from captaincy after a defeat against Sri Lanka in the home T20 series. Hence, the wicket-keeper batsman was dropped from the team touring Australia, and home series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Sarfaraz Ahmed is our former and debatably the most successful captain in recent times. He is an asset who has given us more than any other Pakistani captain. Using him as a water boy is his insult. Any other young player should have done this instead of Sarfaraz.#PAKvsENG pic.twitter.com/PLalAVri2j
— محمد یاور (@sheikhyawar0) August 6, 2020
Sarfaraz Ahmed is reeling to find his place in the playing eleven squads on tour to England as he makes his comeback. Meanwhile, cricket fans had anticipated his omission from the third test- they had not expected the veteran player carrying drinks and shoes for his junior players on the ground.
Misbah-ul-Haq responds to backlash
Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq also responded to the backlash on PCB management on social media in a press conference. The former skipper asserted that it was a common practice and that Sarfaraz Ahmed was fine with it.
“It is very common and I don’t think this was an issue for Sarfaraz either. Even I carried drinks for the team against Australia when I was captain but didn’t play that particular match in which I was the 12th man,” said the Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector.
He spoke highly of Sarfaraz Ahmed’s professionalism. “Such criticism can only be made in a country like Pakistan,” Misbah said in response to the criticism.
“I feel any professional player should not feel ashamed by it. Sarfaraz is a wonderful player and a human being and is aware that cricket is a team sport.” He added, “There is no disrespect in this. Kudos to him and others that they have no problem with it.”
Misbah-ul-Haq said that it’s the responsibility of the available players to assist the team when others are practicing.