Pakistan Team Finally Captained
It seems like the dust has finally settled and we finally have a captain leading the Pakistan team in the upcoming world cup tournament. After weeks of uncertainty, speculations and unwillingness of Pakistan Cricket Board, Shahid Afridi has now been given a go ahead to lead Pakistan side for the mega event that commences in February.
Chairman PCB had traveled to New Zealand earlier this week to hold discussions over captaincy issues with captain Shahid Afridi, senior team players and management officials.
“I had detailed discussions with team management and players in New Zealand regarding captain and vice captain,” Butt said, “and am pleased to state that everyone fully endorsed these decisions.”
Bear in mind that the PCB initially had its eyes locked on Test captain, Misbah ul Haq to lead the team but there does not seem to be any real changes in the script. Misbah and Afridi were the two forerunners that were being genuinely considered for the captaincy spot and the final decision seems to be a corollary of a number of elements: pressure from seniors like Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Umar Gul, opinions from ex-cricketers and the nation’s all out support for Afridi.
Interestingly, Misbah ul Haq, himself, had spoken highly of Afridi’s brilliant credentials as captain and was all praise for Afridi while speaking to Simon Doull. Former Captain, Shoaib Malik was also of the view that Shahid Afridi was a stand out performer and deserved captaincy for sure:
“Since Afridi has been leading the team for the last year, it makes no sense to change him now; changing captains frequently has already damaged the team in the past.” he said.
Even former captain Wasim Akram fully backed Shahid Afridi’s appointment:
“I would go for Afridi any day. Misbah is performing well, but he’s not a magician. Afridi has been the captain for a reasonable period of time. Last year, he was the highest wicket-taker and also one of the top run-getters for Pakistan. In my opinion, Afridi should be named captain. I don’t know what the PCB is doing,” the former pacer said.
Note worthy is the fact that Shahid Afridi had completely ruled out any issues with being or not being the captain and announced that he just wanted to see the team prosper whether it was under his captaincy or Misbah’s:
“It doesn’t make a difference whether Misbah leads the side or I lead the side, because we both are playing for our country.”
With the debate on captaincy settled, now the Pakistan team should really shift their focus on how the team should retain the winning touch and maintain a balance of winning combinations in the side. Surely, if Pakistan continue to impress with the sort of form they are in, the world cup is not too far from their grasps.