ISLAMABAD (AP) — Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed replaced Shahid Afridi as captain of Pakistan’s Twenty20 team yesterday after the national team made an early exit from the World Twenty20. Afridi quit as captain after Pakistan lost three of their four group matches at the World Twenty20 tournament in India but said he wanted to continue playing the shortest format of international cricket. “I spoke to Sarfraz this morning and conveyed to him that he was our natural choice for this position,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a statement. “His appointment is open-ended. I wish him good luck in his new role.” Ahmed, 28, played in all the four World Twenty20 matches but batted lower down the order throughout the tournament despite having a good strike rate of 120.24 in 21 Twenty20 Internationals. Ahmed led Quetta Gladiators in Pakistan’s first professional domestic Twenty20 league in February before losing to the Misbah-ul-Haq-led Islamabad United in the final. Ahmed made his international debut in 2007, a year after he led Pakistan to win the Under-19 World Cup. He has scored 1,077 runs in 58 ODIs and 1,296 runs in 21 Test matches at an impressive average of 46.28. Last year he was made Pakistan’s vice-captain for both T20 and ODI teams. Ahmed said it was a big achievement for him to lead Pakistan in the shortest format. “It’s an honour for me that I’ve been made the captain. I was looking at various things since I was made the vice-captain and have noted it down,” Ahmed told reporters in his hometown Karachi.
DOHA, Qatar: Hansle Parchment believes the track and field world could be in for something special at Jamaica’s Olympics trials next month, as he expects fierce competition in the men’s 110m hurdles. The 24-year-old, who won bronze in the event at the 2012 Olympics followed by silver at the World Championships last year, is expecting fierce competition from the likes of Omar McLeod and Andrew Riley. McLeod burst on to the scene last year with some impressive times, before finishing sixth at the World Championships. The 21-year-old McLeod has gotten off to an even faster start this year, winning the World Indoor title followed by a new personal best clocking of 9.99 in the 100m. Fans will not have to wait long to see McLeod and Parchment match strides, as both men are scheduled to face the starter in tomorrow’s opening meet of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League series in Doha, Qatar. But it is next month’s clash that Parchment is really looking forward to, that’s the one which really matters. “Trials coming up is a stepping stone going forward into the Olympics and I am definitely looking forward to the competition,” Parchment said. “As we know we have some good guys coming up; Omar (McLeod) is there and (Andrew) Riley, just to name a few. “So it should be very interesting competition in Jamaica. I hope that we can turn a few heads when we compete at the trials.” Parchment is hoping with the emergence of such top level competition in Jamaica, hurdles will captivate the attention of local track and field fans and get the respect it deserves. “I have always said that hurdling is one of the better events, but just like some of the field events there is not so much attention given to it,” Parchment said. “People don’t really know who is hurdling, who is throwing or who is jumping most of the times, so we want to compete in such a way that people can see what’s happening in the hurdles. We want to raise the level of competition, so that people start talking about hurdling as one of the events to see.” With competition increasing in the event yearly, Parchment anticipates that youngsters will also start gravitating to the discipline more. As it relates to his chances at this year’s Olympics, Parchment is optimistic that once he stays healthy and focus he will do very well. “There has been one small setback, but other than that it has been a good season so far, especially in background training. I have done a lot more than I usually do, so I think I am on a good path,” Parchment said. “So once I keep working and keep the focus I know I will be good for the rest of the season.”[email protected]