The former Test captain was pictured carrying shoes and drinks for Shadab Khan which raised eyebrows amongst Pakistan fans and former players. Some questioned whether the 12th man duties were disrespectful towards a senior player.
The wicketkeeper was not selected in the side for the first game of the series but Misbah, who preceded Sarfaraz as Test captain, explained his willingess to fulfill team duties was a good sign for Pakistan.
“It is very common [for a former captain to carry drinks] 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 Misbah.
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
Former Pakistan quick Shoaib Akhtar, on the other hand, said it showed a lack of respect towards Sarfaraz.
“You can’t do this to a player who has led Pakistan for four years and has won the Champions Trophy for the country. You made him carry shoes. If he has done it himself then stop him. Wasim Akram never brought shoes for me,” Shoaib told Pakistan channel Boss News.
33-year-old Sarfaraz led his country to victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy in England but hasn’t featured for Pakistan in Test cricket since January 2019 and Shoaib labeled Sarfaraz as a “docile and weak man”.
“This shows that Sarfaraz is such a docile and weak man. He must have led Pakistan in the same way as he carried shoes. That’s why Mickey Arthur always dominated him. I am not saying carrying the shoes is a problem but a former captain can’t do that,” Akhtar added.
Misbah instead insisted the act was a testament to the former captain and the ethos of the current crop of Pakistan players who have performed well in the opening two days of the Test.
“Sarfaraz is an excellent human being and player. He knows that it is a team game. When other players are practicing outside the player who is available has to help out.
“It is not a matter of disrespect. In fact, it is big of Sarfaraz that he doesn’t mind doing it. Plus, it is a sign of a good team,” Misbah said at the end of day’s play.