Monday, January 10, 2011

PCB undecided over WC skipper

Pakistan Cricket Board will not decide on who will captain Pakistan in the World Cup before January 9.
Although flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been leading the team in Twenty20 and One-day Internationals since last year but in recent days there has been a debate in the media over whether the board is going to retain him for the World Cup.

The fact that Butt called Afridi over to Lahore for a meeting soon after he returned from New Zealand after leading the team in the Twenty20 series has increased speculations over captaincy.

Ijaz Butt now himself has added to the confusion by stating that the board had still not decided who would be captain in the World Cup.

Butt went one step further by stating that Afridi was not a certain choice for the World Cup captaincy.

"We will take a decision on the captaincy for the one-day series in New Zealand and the World Cup after January 19 when the Test series ends in New Zealand," Butt told the Express newspaper.

Afridi has come under attack from some former players, including ex-captain Aamir Sohail, for his leadership skills and individual form although he was the leading run-scorer in one-dayers for Pakistan last year with 601 and also claimed 19 wickets with Shoaib Akhtar.

When it was pointed out that changing the captain at such a late stage before the World Cup could harm the team interests, Butt said, "The media is going create a ruckus if we announce it now and if we do it later. So it's better if we wait."

"If we announce the captain now this would be made an issue in the media so we are going to wait and take our time," he added.

Butt said every stakeholder in the board would be taken on board before announcing the captain and also expressed his satisfaction over the performance of the team in the recent series in New Zealand .

"There are some new players in the side and they are shaping up well and the most important thing is there is now a more disciplined culture in the team," he said.

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