Misbah`s tenure as ODI, T20 captain could end after Asia Cup
Lahore: Misbah-ul-Haq`s tenure as captain of the Pakistan One-day and T20 squads is likely to come to an end after the ongoing Asia Cup tournament in Bangladesh, with Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez`s names being floated as replacements.
Well-informed sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board and close to the national selection committee said that regardless of whether Pakistan win or lose in the Asia Cup final, Misbah would not be retained as captain of the ODI and T20 squads after the tournament.
"Pakistan`s next assignment after the Asia Cup is the tour to Sri Lanka from late May in which they play three Tests, five ODIs and two T20 matches," one source said.
"And all indications are that the board and selectors feel that it is time for Misbah to be restricted to leading the Test team while a new captain will be announced for the ODI and T20 teams," the source said.
He said the board will be taking a lot of inputs from new coach, Dav Whtmore after the Asia Cup before taking a decision on the captaincy and on the prospect of having separate Test and limited overs squads.
Misbah had been leading Pakistan in all three formats of the game since last year after the board under former previous chairman, Ijaz Butt sacked Afridi as captain of the ODI and T20 teams after the tour to the West Indies in May.
Afridi led the Pakistan ODI and T20 squads since 2010.
A source said that there were also strong indications that after the Asia Cup some players including Misbah, Younis Khan, Umar Gul and others might be restricted to playing Test cricket while a new look ODI and T20 squads would be formed.
"There is a feeling that Pakistan need to have ODI and T20 squads with more young players and fresh faces as there is little likelihood of some seniors continuing to play in prime form until the 2015 World Cup," the source said.
The source said so far Whatmore had a restricted role in team selection since he had just taken over but is expected to play a more decisive role after the Asia Cup.
"There will be a lot more input from Whatmore and other coaching staff when the squad for the Sri Lankan tour is announced," the source said.
Misbah has faced a lot of criticism over his performances and captaincy in the ODIs and T20 matches after Pakistan were swept aside by England recently.
Even before the England series, Misbah was not a popular choice to lead the ODI and T20 squads.
"The main issue facing the PCB, selectors and Whatmore will be if they replace Misbah and also decide to sideline Younis and other seniors for the ODI and T20 squads than who will lead Pakistan in these two formats," the source said.
"The problem is that choices for candidates to lead the Pakistan ODI and T20 squads are very limited with Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik among the main contenders," he said.
The source said one should also not rule out the possibility of Kamran Akmal also being given a chance to make a comeback to the ODI and T20 squads after the Asia Cup in a more important role.