PCB set to retain Afridi as skipper for WC

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt in all likelihood will announce Shahid Afridi as the captain of the Pakistan team for the upcoming World Cup although some players back Misbah-ul Haq as the leader.

According to sources, Butt has decided to now stick with Afridi as captain although there is still a divided opinion about the fact that some consider Misbah to be a better choice.

The scales seemed to have heavily tilted in favour of Afridi after the dashing batsman smashed 65 off only 25 deliveries during Pakistan`s series levelling win against New Zealand yesterday.

"Butt has come to the conclusion after discussing the captaincy issue with the team management and others that it would be unwise to change the captain at such a stage and since Afridi has been the ODI captain since late 2009," a source indicated.

He said the board would most likely end the captaincy debate by announcing the captain in next 24 hours.

There was plenty of debate in the cricketing circles after the PCB announced the World Cup squad of 15 players last month but didn`t name the captain.

Many former players consider Afridi to be too temperamental to be given the responsibility of captaining in the World Cup and others warning against changing the captain at so late a stage.

Former Pakistan captain, Shoaib Malik has also added his voice to the captaincy debate supporting Afridi.

"I don`t think it is a good move to change the captain now. When Afridi is leading the team since the last one year, it makes no sense to change him now," Malik said.

Malik also called on the board to follow a consistent policy while appointing a captain.

"Anyone who is appointed captain should be given a long run to prove himself. A captain must be given security and assurance he will be there for a proper period of time that way even the players will throw their full weight behind him. Changing captains frequently has already damaged the team in the past," Malik said.


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