Former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif feels that ‘disagreements’ within the Pakistan Cricket Board have led it to withhold the name of the captain while announcing the final 15-member squad for next month’s World Cup.
“Other boards have named their skipper with the squad, yet the Pakistan Cricket Board has chosen not to select a captain which is extremely strange. However I think the reason for this is down to the disagreements within the Board and the fact that the team management and the Board don’t want Shahid Afridi to be selected as captain for the World Cup,” a website quoted Latif, as saying.
“The Board are also of course waiting to see how the one day series in New Zealand develops, but I get the impression that there are also disagreements amongst the players with Shahid Afridi which is a sad state of affairs for Pakistan,” he added.
The captaincy issue has attracted a huge debate in Pakistan over who should be leading the team in the World Cup- incumbent one-day captain Shahid Afridi or Test skipper Misbah ul Haq.
Whilst Misbah’s fortunes have been favourable- having scored six consecutive half centuries in his last six test innings and also having led Pakistan to a Test series draw against South Africa and a Test series victory against New Zealand- Afridi’s luck has turned for the worse with one-day series defeats to South Africa and England as well as a crushing defeat in the first one-dayer against New Zealand.
Latif though feels that the PCB has handled the issue of captaincy poorly, and if Misbah was indeed the man whom the board wanted to lead the side at the World Cup, then he should have been given the job earlier.
“The captain for the World Cup should be Shahid Afridi, but if the Board had wanted to select Misbah as skipper then they should have appointed him much earlier instead of this indecision weeks before the World Cup. It’s really surprising to see what’s going on,” he said.
Whilst expectations are low from Pakistan fans this time around, Latif noted that the format could favour Pakistan, and thus they should not be written off despite the ongoing issues and key players missing from the final squad.
“Pakistan cannot be written off as the format suits them. They are a team, who on their day are capable of beating anyone and once the quarterfinals start, then it’s a straight knockout and it all depends on the team that performs on the day. The knockout stage is where Pakistan could excel. Two good performances in the knockout stage and Pakistan could find themselves in the World Cup Final,” said the former Pakistan skipper.