Former players blast PCB for not naming Pak captain for World Cup

January 19th, 2011 - 3:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Jan 19(ANI): Former Test players have slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not announcing the captain while naming the 15-member final squad for next month’s World Cup, which is to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The decision to not name Pakistan’s captain for the World Cup while announcing the squad indicates that Test captain Misbah remains a strong choice to lead the one-day squad as well, after his successful run as Test skipper against South Africa and New Zealand.

Afridi, who has led the Pakistan team in T20 and ODI since last year and is also captain for the forthcoming ODI series in New Zealand, has been criticised for his leading abilities. According to sources, some players and officials have also been raising questions over his ‘behaviour and attitude’.

However, former captain Moin Khan warned that any change in captaincy of the one-day team at such a late stage could prove counter-productive for the team in the World Cup.

“The board should have named the captain with the World Cup squad,” the Daily Times quoted Moin, as saying.

Former Test player Salahuddin Ahmed, who has remained on the national selection committee as a member or chief selector for 12 different terms, criticised the decision to not appoint the captain and also drop veteran batsman Muhammad Yousuf.

“If the selectors have a clear conscience that they have done the right thing they should have addressed a press conference instead of just issuing a press release. The World Cup is too important an event to be announced in a release,” he said.

Salahuddin said by not naming the captain, the board would only encourage politics in the team.”It makes no sense. Once Shahid Afridi has gone to New Zealand as captain for the one-day series, it would make no sense to change him as captain for the World Cup at such a late stage,” he said.

Former Test captain Aamir Sohail felt that the board should have named along with the team whoever it wanted to lead the team in the World Cup.

“This delay only creates uncertainties and will also affect the performance of Afridi and Misbah in the one-day series in New Zealand,” Sohail added. According to a well-informed source, the decision to hold back the announcement of the captain came after chief selector Mohsin Khan met with the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt earlier in the day in Lahore, and then announced the team after consulting the other selectors.

“It is nothing but a way to give out a clear message to Afridi that he should not take captaincy for granted and remain in line with board policies,” the source said.

He pointed out that Butt was not happy with Afridi’s habit of giving unnecessary statements in the media, and that the team management and some players had also complained about his behaviour.

“Basically it will depend on how the second Test ends and how Misbah manages things and then most importantly how well Afridi leads the teams in the one-day series in New Zealand and performs himself. There is a feeling that the Afridi’s talent as a player are being affected by the pressures of captaincy and it would be better to give this responsibility to a more mature person like Misbah who has led the team well in the Tests,” the source added. (ANI)

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