Afridi may captain Pakistan for Twenty 20 World Cup

May 8th, 2009 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, May 8 (IANS) Disappointed over Pakistan’s one-day series loss to Australia, skipper Younis Khan is considering relinquishing captaincy for the next month’s World Twenty20 Championships in England.

According to a source, Younis is unhappy with the bitter criticism aimed at him following the 2-3 series defeat to Australia and he might step down as the captain for the June 5-21 spectacle to be played in London and Nottingham.

The source said Friday that Younis is also concerned over the slump in his own batting form and wants to focus on his own performance in the tournament. There are speculations that all-rounder Shahid Afridi could take over as Pakistan captain for the Twenty20 assignment.

Younis, who replaced Shoaib Malik as Pakistan captain in January, managed to score mere 73 runs in the five-match series at an average of 14.60, his highest being 28.

Several former cricketers of the country have slammed the Pakistan team for failing to win the series against a second string Australia team.

Former captain Wasim Akram lashed out at the strategy of the team during the whole series.

Referring to the team management’s decision to rest fast bowler Umar Gul for the important fourth game, Akram said: “I fail to understand why you rest your in-form bowler.”

“Pakistan was 2-1 behind, and only a winning team can afford to have a rotation policy,” he added.

He said Younis was taking extra burden on himself due to the captaincy, which was affecting his batting too.

“Younis needs to calm down and learn from experience. He made a couple of costly mistakes, he should have promoted Kamran Akmal to the top of the order because he has been batting well,” Akram added.

Another ex-captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said Pakistan had lost a golden opportunity to defeat the weakened world champions.

“I am surprised because Australia lost to India and South Africa before this series even with Ricky Ponting and their other leading players who are not playing in this series… I think the batting more than the bowling let us down,” he said.

The source said Younis was left fuming over the criticism and may inform the Board about his inability to lead Pakistan in England once he returns home with the team from UAE Saturday.

According to the source, another reason why Younis is having second thoughts about leading Pakistan in the shortest version of the game, is because he is mainly a Test batsman who can also bat well in one-dayers. But Twenty20 is not his cup of tea, something that was evident from his below-par showing for Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last summer.

Younis flopped in that event and was dropped from the playing eleven by the team’s skipper - Shane Warne - for the semifinals and the final. Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings in the final to win the title.

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