Time to give skipper Afridi a break: Misbah

Colombo: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has been taking too much of the burden on his own shoulders at the World Cup and it is time his team mates shared the load, his vice-captain said on Monday.

Afridi has been comfortably the most effective player in the side in their opening three wins so far against Kenya, Sri Lanka and Canada, especially with the ball taking 14 wickets.

"It`s a really good thing for a team that the captain is doing well and he is leading by example," said Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan vice-captain.

"Other players are also looking forward to perform well in the coming matches and take responsibility and the pressure off from the captain," he said.

"For a team nothing can be better than when the captain is performing himself. He has been man of the match and that`s a plus point," Misbah said.

"It doesn`t mean that all the time the rest of the team is just putting pressure on him, everybody else is looking to perform. All the players want to play that type of role in the coming games."

Pakistan, who head Group A with three wins in as many games, became one of the favourites to lift the World Cup following their 11-run victory over co-host nation Sri Lanka.

Although they somewhat faltered in their batting against Canada, they still managed to pull through that game due to some brilliant bowling again from Afridi.

Pakistan meet New Zealand on Tuesday at one-day international cricket`s new venue, Pallekele Stadium, which is about 30 minutes drive from Kandy.

Bureau Report

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