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Quetta Gladiators Takes Captaincy Away From Sarfaraz Ahmed Ahead Of PSL 2024

image-lsk0ydjbSarfaraz had captained Quetta for 8 straight PSL seasons [X.com]

Quetta Gladiators were in for a last-minute shock heading into the 2024 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as the franchise's skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed quit captaincy before the start of the season on Saturday (February 17). 

Owner of the Quetta side, Nadeem Omer confirmed the veteran Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter has decided to "take a break" from leadership responsibilities after being at the helm for eight straight seasons for Quetta since PSL's beginning in 2016. 

No official statement was issued by the player but Omar said head coach Shane Watson has been tasked the duties to identify the next captain in the coming few days with Quetta due to play their opening game on Sunday against the Peshawar Zalmi in Lahore. 

Sarfaraz Ahmed Quits PSL Captaincy 

"Sarfaraz wants to take a break from captaincy with new head coach Shane Watson set to decide who will lead the side after consulting with the team management," the franchise owner said in his statement. 

Sarfaraz had been Gladiators' captain since PSL's inception and transformed the franchise into one of the leading contenders for the coveted trophy. It was under his captaincy that Quetta finished runners-up in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the PSL, before going one step further and lifting the prestigious crown in 2019. 

A poor 2023 season where Quetta finished bottom of the six-team pile with just three wins from 10 matches might have played a part in Sarfaraz opting out of captaincy duties, apart from the age factor, with the experienced cricketer now 36 and hoping to regain his free-flowing ways with the bat without feeling burdened by the captaincy. 

Despite relinquishing leadership, he remains integral to Quetta's line-up and their fortunes as the eighth highest run-getter in PSL history. Sarfaraz has made 503 runs from 80 PSL games at an average of 31.31 and a strike-rate of 123.80.