Former players criticise PCB for sacking Afridi as ODI captain
Lahore: Pakistan`s former players and administrators have lambasted Cricket Board chief Ijaz Butt for sacking Shahid Afridi as captain of the ODI squad, saying the move will lead to groupism in the team.
Afridi was replaced by senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq for the two ODIs against Ireland later this month.
"This decision of Ijaz Butt will only fan more groupings in the team," former Chairman of the board, Lt General (retd) Tauqir Zia said.
"It makes no sense to remove Afridi as captain when he has led the team well and with fire and did well in taking the team to the World Cup semi-finals," Zia said.
Butt used his powers as the board Chairman to change Pakistan`s one-day team captain on Thursday also refusing to give any reason for his decision.
Analysts believe the notice issued to Afridi for speaking about problems in the team management after returning home from the West Indies led to his sacking as captain.
Afridi spelt out his problems with head coach Waqar Younis over team selection issues after returning home but in his reply to the board, claimed he had spoken in general terms only.
Zia said by frequently changing captains, the board was encouraging groupings in the team.
Former chief selector and Test spinner Iqbal Qasim felt that by changing the captain, the board had displayed its inconsistency again.
He pointed out that the board had only last year assigned separate roles to Afridi and Misbah and the change in the one-day captaincy indicates the inconsistency in the policies of the PCB.
Butt, during his tenure starting from October 2008, has changed the captain 11 times in all three formats of the game. Former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said the board had acted hastily in removing Afridi as captain.
"Afridi should also be careful in giving media statements. But the fact is changing the captaincy is a cricketing decision and this one is not a sagacious one," Qadir said.
"Dropping Afridi as captain and retaining him in the side to play under Misbah appears a bad move," he said.
Former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed felt the PCB has become a one-man show for the last two years.
"Players are the ones who bring in money for the board and attract people to the sport. Afridi didn`t commit a crime if he spoke about problems he was facing as captain. Instead of listening to him the board sacked him as captain this is unjust and unfair and the government should take notice of this," he said.