Friday, February 04, 2011

Afridi retained as Pakistan captain for World Cup

Ending weeks of speculations, Pakistan on Friday named experienced all-rounder, Shahid Afridi as the captain of the national team for the ICC cricket World Cup to begin in Dhaka on February 19.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said that Afridi would lead the team while Test captain and another front-runner for the job, Misbah-ul-Haq would be his deputy in the mega-event to be jointly co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"The board has retained Afridi as captain for the World Cup. Waqar Younis and Aaqib Javed will also continue as head coach and bowling consultant in the competition," PCB media manager Nadeem Sarwar said.

The PCB also appointed a security advisor, Wasim Ahmed to accompany the team in the World Cup after the post was lying vacant following the resignation of Khawaja Naeem.

The PCB also announced that vice-captain Misbah would be part of the tour selection committee for the World Cup, which also includes manager (Intikhan Alam), coach and the captain.

Interestingly, the board has named Alam as the chairman of the tour selection committee.

Afridi's appointment as World Cup captain was a formality after he led Pakistan to its first ODI series win since 2008, when it defeated New Zealand in the fifth one-day international in Hamilton yesterday.

Former captain Moin Khan hailed Afridi's reinstatement as Pakistan skipper but said PCB created an "unnecessary controversy" by delaying the captaincy announcement.

"It was logical to retain Afridi as captain for this big event after the way he inspired the team to its first ODI series win in New Zealand in 17 years," Moin said.

"I think the board only created unnecessary controversy and speculations by delaying the decision. The World Cup team was already announced last month and it was high time, the board announced the captain. Afridi is a good choice," he added.

He pointed out that Afridi had been leading Pakistan in ODIs and Twenty20 matches since last year and so far did a good job.

"This talk about Misbah being considered as a captaincy candidate for the World Cup started because of the board's indecision," Moin noted.

Former captain and wicket-keeper Rashid Latif, who is in Dubai these days with the Afghanistan team, also agreed with Moin.

"Afridi was always the logical choice because he has been leading the team since last year and now the players are also responding to him. He also understand his captaincy style well now. The biggest thing is that Afridi has shown lot of commitment for his job," Latif said.


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