Shahid Afridi retained as Pak captain for ICC World Cup: Intikhab Alam

Friday, February 4, 2011

LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to retain Shahid Afridi as captain to lead the national squad in the ICC World Cup, which will be held from February 19 to April 2 in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Pakistan cricket team manager Intikhab Alam made this claim while talking to media persons after Pakistan won an ODI series against Kiwis by 3-1 after a gap of 17 years in New Zealand, Geo TV reported.

The PCB had announced Pakistan’s 15-member squad for the mega event on January 18, but astonished everyone by not announcing a skipper for the team.

Earlier this week, PCB chief Ijaz Butt told Pakistani media persons in Napier that the team captain for the forthcoming World Cup would be announced on February 4, a day before the final match of their ongoing one-day series against New Zealand.

“We will announce the captain on February 4, that is decided now,” Butt was quoted, as saying.

Pakistan’s current limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi and Test skipper Misbahul Haq were the two contenders for leading the team in the World Cup.

Though former players blasted the PCB, saying the decision to delay the announcement of the captain’s name was likely to harm the team’s unity, both contenders downplayed the ongoing row.

“It would not be an issue for me if I am removed from captaincy,” Afridi was quoted as saying.

“It doesn’t make a difference whether Misbah leads the side or I lead the side because we both are playing for our country,” he added.

Afridi also dismissed reports of differences with Misbah, saying, “We don’t have any differences. He is a good player who remains focused on his job.”

Misbah also came out in Afridi’s support, saying that he had been doing a good job as the captain of the one-day team and had gelled the players well together.

“I think Shahid has done a great job as captain and he has kept the team together and every player is contributing and wants to do well. He has led well,” Misbah said.

“The team has gelled well. Whoever is the captain, everyone will play for the team and for the country,” he maintained. (ANI)

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