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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Former Pak cricketer backs Afridi as ODI captain

LAHORE: Former Pakistan cricketer Muddasar Nazar has affirmed his faith in Shahid Afridi as the captain of one-day cricket team. 

He said Afridi's differences with the coach Waqar Younis could have been amicably settled without axing Afridi from the one-day captaincy. 

"He (Afridi) should be reminded of his obligations, and as Waqar and Afridi both have played together for a long time, both just need to sit down, define boundaries and work as a team - Waqar and Afridi should resolve their differences", quoted Nazar, as saying. 

He objected to revamping of the team leadership in ODI or Test versions as in his view both teams had right persons in place. 

He also blamed external media influences for the crisis, and said it was not caused merely by the internal conflict in the Pakistan Cricket Board ( PCB). 

Nazar also suggested Hafeez Mohammad as the future captain of the Pakistan cricket team. 

"We've got someone who is coming along really well such as Hafeez, he only has to maintain his form. If he can do that and start scoring runs in Test cricket, then he may well be the choice for the captaincy in all 3 formats", he said.


Pakistan cricket board will keep a close eye on Afridi’s performance against Ireland

PCB’s decision to remove Shahid Afridi from the post of skipper has also put the all-rounder‘s performance under vigilant monitoring. The PCB will keep a close eye on his performance against Ireland.
Even after his departure from captaincy, Afridi was still able to claim his spot in the One Day International squad of Pakistan, for the two one-dayers against an inexperienced Irish side.
According to PCB’s new decision, Misbah-Ul-Haq who is currently leading the test-squad of Pakistan, will also be rendering his services as the skipper of the ODI side.
Pakistan cricket board still refuses to provide any justification for the decision, however, the decision followed Afridi’s remarks about the team management’s interference during Pakistan’s tour to West-Indies.
After ending the ICC World Cup 2011 as one of the leading Wicket takers of tournament, Afridi’s performance, especially as a leg spinner, deteriorated.
The former skipper, during his tour to West-Indies, managed to take only 2-wickets in five One Day Internationals, with 28 runs in three innings to his name.
Comments that landed the all-rounder in trouble were, “Everyone in the team should mind their own business”. PCB considered the statement as a violation of their prescribed code of conduct that resulted in relinquishing Afridi’s captaincy.
But as Afridi was keen to play against the Ireland before leaving for fund raising in the US, PCB thought it was in the best interest of team to retain him in the squad as an ordinary member.
PCB highlighted another reason behind sacking the all-rounder as the skipper. According to PCB officials, Afridi failed to prove himself as an inspirational figure for the Pakistan team and that served as another factor behind the board’s decision.
PCB’s final decision regarding the future of the former skipper rests upon the report that is to be presented by manager, Intikhab Alam, after returning from West Indies.
Afridi was handed over the task of leading the Pakistan team in June last year. He emerged as a successful choice after clinching the series win against England and South-Africa.
He also proved himself as an inspirational leader in the ICC World Cup 2011, when he led an under-rated Pakistani side to the Semi-final stage of the tournament.
Afridi captained the cornered tigers in 34 One Day Internationals, out of which, the Green Shirts stood victorious 18 times. It seems that Afridi’s regime as captain somehow proved to be a beneficial one for the ODI squad.

Afridi may retire from ODIs

Afridi may retire from ODIs
Pakistan’s former one-day captain Shahid Afridi is likely to retire from One Day International after his as skipper earlier in the week.
Sources said on Saturday that Afridi is really dejected on the way the PCB has dealt with him on his media leakages about his differences with head coach Waqar Younis.
Earlier on Thursday, PCB sacked Afridi as captain of the Pakistan’s One Day Internationals team and replaced him with Misbah-ul-Haq.
The decision was made for Pakistan’s upcoming two-match ODI series against Ireland where veteran top-order batsman Younus Khan will also join the team.
Afridi, who is in the United States for fund-raising purpose for a charity, is still part of the team as a regular player, but PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt had told media that his place in the team is not cemented and he will have to prove his abilities. 
However Ijaz Butt told local media that Afridi wasn’t given any assurance of captaincy showing a state of anger in the top cricket board authorities after Afridi had told media about his differences with head coach Waqar Younis.
Following his remarks in the media, which wasn’t the first instance, the PCB had slapped Afridi with a notice demanding reasons for his media outburst. Following his media outburst, Afridi rapidly lost support in the cricket board for not abiding by the board rules and continuing to talk to media despite several warnings by Ijaz Butt, PCB chairman, and other top authorities.
Pakistan are having a tough schedule as after returning from West Indies, they are due to play two ODIs in Ireland and then they will be touring Zimbabwe in August but before that most of the stars will be in action in the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) for which the PCB has issued NOCs to Shahid Khan Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal.

'Sacking Afridi was in team interest'

'Sacking Afridi was in team interest'
PCB chief Ijaz Butt said the decision to remove Shahid Afridi as Pakistan's ODI captain was taken in the best interest of the side but refused to reveal the reasons for it.
Afridi was replaced by senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq for the tour of Ireland.
"It is the board's right to change the captain and the decision was taken in the best interests of the team." Butt said in response to mounting criticism over his decision to sack Afridi as captain for the two-match series against Ireland later this month.
"Captains are changed all over the world and no cricket board gives a reason for that," he told the "Express Tribune" daily newspaper.
"We did what we thought was best and don't need to give a reason for it."
He also defended his decision to appoint Misbah saying that lack of options in the squad forced the move.
"We're looking at everyone's performance and discipline and we're trying to pinpoint a suitable candidate for the captain's position for the future," he explained.
Shahid Afridi's refusal to stay away from the media cost him the captaincy of Pakistan's ODI team as board officials said the all-rounder did not take warnings to keep "internal matters" to himself seriously.
Although some former Test players and administrators have criticised PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt for his decision to change appoint Misbah-ul-Haq as captain for the series against Ireland, insiders in the board said there were enough reasons for action.
"There were a number of factors involved in Butt's decision to remove Afridi as captain but the main reason was his refusal to listen to board warnings about repeatedly going to the media with internal matters," one official source said.
He said even before the ICC World Cup, Butt was not very keen on having Afridi as captain after a number of incidents and that is why the announcement of the captain was delayed.

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