PCB most likely to retain Afridi as Pak captain for World Cup 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

KARACHI - The Pakistan Cricket Board, will in all likelihood, retain Shahid Afridi as the team captain for the upcoming World Cup, despite some players backing Pakistan’s Test skipper Misbah-ul Haq for the position.

According to sources, PCB chief Ijaz Butt has now decided to stick with Afridi as captain although there is still a divided opinion on the captaincy issue, with some considering Misbah to be a better choice.

The scales seem to have heavily tilted in Afridi’s favour after he smashed 65 off 25 deliveries during Pakistan’s series-levelling win against New Zealand on Saturday.

“Butt has come to the conclusion after discussing the captaincy issue with the team management and others that it would be unwise to change the captain at such a stage and since Afridi has been the ODI captain since late 2009,” The News quoted a source, as saying.

Earlier, former Test players had slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not announcing the captain while naming the 15-member final squad for the mega event, which is to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

There was a plenty of debate in the cricketing circles whether Misbah should replace incumbent limited-overs skipper Shahid Afridi as Pakistan’s captain for the World Cup, which begins on February 19.

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik also added his voice to the captaincy debate, supporting Afridi.

“I don’t think it is a good move to change the captain now. Since Afridi has been leading the team for the last year, it makes no sense to change him now,” said Malik, adding, “Changing captains frequently has already damaged the team in the past.” (ANI)

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