Butt replaces Afridi as Pak skipper for 2nd Test
London: Salman Butt on Saturday became the seventh Pakistan Test captain in three years after being handed the job for the second game against Australia and the subsequent four-match series against England.
Shahid Afridi, who made a dramatic announcement on Friday to quit the five-day game after captaining his side to a 150-run loss to Australia in the first Test, has been released from the squad.
The temperamental all-rounder has been struggling with a side strain and will not play against Australia in the second match starting at Headingley from July 21.
In a statement issued after Board chief Ijaz Butt’s meeting with team management and senior players, the PCB said wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal would be Butt’s deputy for the second Test against Australia and subsequently against England.
“Salman Butt was appointed as captain of Pakistan Test team for the 2nd Test match against Australia and the four Test matches against England,” the PCB statement said.
“Kamran Akmal was appointed as vice-captain for the remaining five Test matches on England tour. All players confirmed their full support to the newly appointed captain and vice-captain,” it added.
The meeting also discussed whether former captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf should be drafted in to lend experience to the side but decided to defer the matter.
“The matter regarding Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf’s inclusion in the team was also discussed but was deferred,” the statement said.
Besides Ijaz Butt, the meeting was attended by manager Yawar Saeed, coach Waqar Younis, Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Umar Gul.
Afridi caught everyone, including the PCB, off-guard by announcing his retirement from Test cricket after the second match against Australia.
He cited a side strain and temperamental incompatibility to the demands of the five-day game as factors behind the decision.
Butt, who was vice-captain to Afridi in the first Test against Australia, has scored 1703 runs in 28 Tests at an average of 32.75 with three hundreds and 10 fifties.
The 25-year-old left-handed opener was Pakistan’s top-scorer in both innings at Lord’s with innings of 63 and 92.