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Sarfaraz Ahmed was all smiles while performing the 12th man duties in the ongoing Test match versus England in Manchester. The former Pakistan captain was seen carrying shoes in the middle after the wicket of his replacement Mohammad Rizwan fell in the 71st over of Pakistan's 1st innings. Later in the match the Champions Trophy-winning captain was also seen carrying drinks for his teammates, who were all over the hosts England by the end of Day 2 at Old Trafford.

The incident did not go unnoticed by the fans, commentators and especially by former Pakistan cricketers, who have slammed Pakistan team management for showing disrespect to the Karachi-born.

Shoaib Akhtar said he didn't like the visuals and it was wrong if an attempt was being made to mock Sarfaraz Ahmed. Shoaib Akhtar in a very clear tone added that a former Pakistan captain can't be made to carry drinks and shoes.

Akhtar went a step ahead and called Sarfaraz Ahmed a 'docile and weak man' who must have led Pakistan team in the same timid manner.

“I didn’t like the visual. If you want to make an example out of a boy from Karachi, then it is wrong. You can’t do this to a player who has led Pakistan for four years and has won Champions Trophy for the country. You have made him carry the shoes. If he has done it himself, then stop him. Wasim Akram never brought shoes for me.

“This shows that Sarfaraz is such a docile and weak man. He must have lead Pakistan in the same way as he carried the shoes. That’s why Mickey Arthur always dominated him. I am not saying carrying the shoes is a problem, but former captain can’t do that,” Shoaib Akhtar said.

Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif was also far from appreciating the Pakistan team management but hailed the "greatness" of Sarfaraz, who was sacked from captaincy and then dropped from the team last year after the 2019 World Cup.

Rashid Latif questioned Pakistan's team spirit as well, pointing out that veteran pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz did not even care to wear the Pakistani cricket kit and were loitering around in their track suits.

"Senior players like Amir and Wahab who are also sitting out, are not even in their kits. They are wearing track suits. This is not team spirit, but this greatness of Sarfaraz because he is passionate about the game. This should not have happened," Rashid Latif stated.

Meanwhile, head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said such discussions can only take place in Pakistan and there was no shame in carrying drinks for one's teammates. Calling Sarfaraz Ahmed an "excellent" human being and player, Misbah clarified that three of the non-playing members of the 16-man squad for the Test match were practising in the nets and the former captain was the only one available at that point.

"This type of discussion can only happen in Pakistan. I also performed the duties of a 12th man, when I was captain and was sitting out in a match against Australia. There is no shame in doing that.

“Sarfaraz is an excellent human being and player. He knows that it is a team game. When other players are practising outside, so 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 days play.

Former Pakistan cricketers might be at loggerheads on the issue but the Pakistan team is currently cruising in the Test match, courtesy a brilliant batting performance by Shan Masood and great display of pace bowling by Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Afridi.
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