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Sunday, January 30, 2011

PCB set to retain Afridi as skipper for World Cup

Shahid Afridi Shahid Afridi of Pakistan walks off the pitch before game two of the Twenty20 series between New Zealand and Pakistan at Seddon Park on December 28, 2010 in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The Pakistan Cricket Board chairmanIjaz Butt in all likelihood will announce Shahid Afridi as thecaptain of the Pakistan team for the upcoming World Cupalthough some players back Misbah-ul Haq as the leader.
According to sources, Butt has decided to now stick withAfridi as captain although there is still a divided opinionabout the fact that some consider Misbah to be a betterchoice.

The scales seemed to have heavily tilted in favour ofAfridi after the dashing batsman smashed 65 off only 25deliveries during Pakistan''s series levelling win against NewZealand yesterday.

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

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

There was plenty of debate in the cricketing circlesafter the PCB announced the World Cup squad of 15 players lastmonth but didn''t name the captain.

Many former players consider Afridi to be tootemperamental to be given the responsibility of captaining inthe World Cup and others warning against changing the captainat so late a stage.

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

"I don''t think it is a good move to change the captainnow. 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 consistentpolicy while appointing a captain.

"Anyone who is appointed captain should be given a longrun to prove himself. A captain must be given security andassurance he will be there for a proper period of time thatway even the players will throw their full weight behind him.

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