Former Pakistan first-class cricketer Zafar Sarfaraz has passed away after testing positive for COVID-19. The 50-year-old had been on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Peshawar for the last three days, ESPNCricinfo reported.
Sarfaraz has become the first professional cricketer to succumb to COVID-19 in Pakistan. He had made his debut in 1988 and he went on to score 616 runs from 15 first-class games for Peshawar. He also managed to score 96 runs from six one-day games before retiring in 1994. He then took up the role of coaching both the senior and the Under-19 Peshawar teams in the mid-2000s. A prominent figure in the region’s cricket, Zafar was the brother of Pakistan international player Akhtar Sarfaraz.
Akhtar had passed away 10 months ago in the same city after a battle with colon cancer. Last month, great Pakistani squash player Azam Khan had also died of novel coronavirus at the age of 95. Azam, who won four consecutive British Open titles between 1959-62, had tested positive for COVID-19 in March end and breathed his last in London’s Ealing Hospital.
Nearly 100 people have died from the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan. Peshawar, a city in the north of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has 744 of the nearly 5500 active cases in the country.