Sarfaraz included in Pakistan's 29-man squad to play Test and T20Is in England in August and September
Monday 15 June 2020 08:58, UK
Sarfaraz Ahmed says he has "rediscovered" himself after being sacked as Pakistan captain and is ready to take any opportunity he gets in England
The 33-year-old was axed as Pakistan Test and T20I skipper in October and also dropped from both formats after a loss of form for himself and the team.
Sarfaraz has been named in a 29-man squad to play Tests and T20Is in England this summer, but will begin the tour as back-up wicketkeeper to Mohammad Rizwan.
"I realised that this seven or eight-month gap away from the national team has helped me rediscover myself as player," said the gloveman.
"It was tough to absorb the fact that I was the captain as well as a regular member [of the team] and then suddenly, I am nowhere. You do get upset but I couldn't really dwell on it too much as I had domestic cricket.
"Then in this free time in the last three months in quarantine, I got time to reflect and be ready for any expected opportunity.
"[Pakistan head coach] Misbah-ul-Haq was urging me to utilise this time to work smartly to improve my fitness and reflect on what I have been doing wrong.
"When you are captain you basically think differently - more about the team than yourself. But now I don't have that added responsibility and I will be thinking exclusively how I can play my part as a player in any situation where I am needed.
"Rizwan is playing well for the team and obviously he is the first choice and I am the back-up.
"I made mistakes which is why I am out, but now I am back in contention and with the team so that is what I am focusing on. I will definitely grab the opportunity and wait for my chance to do well for myself and for the team."
Pakistan will play three Tests and three T20Is in England in August and September, although the exact dates of the games are yet to be announced.