Former Pakistani cricketers want Afridi back

Last Updated: Aug 08, 2011, 16:56 PM IST

Islamabad: Former Pakistani cricketers believe that the return of Shahid Afridi as the captain of the team could resolve the crisis plaguing the team, especially at a time when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying to find a replacement for current skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

While the PCB did not announce a deputy to Misbah for the upcoming Zimbabwe tour, reports have suggested that the board is considering grooming a player as the future leader of the team.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis had also expressed his concern over the matter, urging the board to groom a young captain. Misbah also admitted that he would not be able to play for a long time.

The all-rounder, who led Pakistan for over a year including in the World Cup earlier this year, announced his retirement from international cricket after citing differences with the PCB and said that he would not return under the current setup.

Former Pakistani players, however, have demanded for a long term option, saying that the return of Afridi is the best immediate solution, a daily reports.

“Afridi’s return can resolve this issue. When he does, a new captain can be groomed under him. Afridi has at least four years of cricket left in him and he’ll have ample time to groom a youngster unlike Misbah. In the best interest of the team both parties [PCB and Afridi] should show some flexibility and find a solution,” former chief selector Iqbal Qasim has said.

Former captain Wasim Akram also stressed the need for Afridi’s return.

“I won’t speak much on the issue but Afridi is needed. He has a lot of cricket left in him and he can still do a lot for the Pakistan team,” Akram said, while former fast-bowler Jalauddin said that “the PCB has not displayed good planning as it selects and drops players on an agenda. The board should seek the combined advice of the game’s technocrats, which will be helpful.”

ANI