Shahid Afridi all set to be named Twenty20 captain

Source: Published in Sports on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seasoned all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been finalised as Pakistan’s new T20 captain and an announcement in this regard will be made by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday-

The PCB will also be reiterating on Tuesday its earlier decision of retaining incumbent Test and ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq until the 2015 World Cup.

The Pakistan team for the next series against Australia will also be finalised on Tuesday.

Well-informed sources told Dawn that PCB chairman Shaharyar M. Khan, after completing consultations with the think-tank, got a consensus over Afridi’s name as the next T20 captain in place of Mohammad Hafeez who resigned after national team’s dismal show in the World T20 held earlier this year in Bangladesh.

Pakistan have three T20 matches lined-up in the upcoming series against Australia and New Zealand.

According to sources, the PCB chairman also took all the Governing Board members into confidence over the decisions with the exception of Najam Sethi who is not in Pakistan.

For the last many months, Afridi in his media talks has been expressing his wish to captain Pakistan once again.

“As T20 captain, Afridi will be in a position to put some pressure on Misbah who is already under pressure for not giving good results in the last series against Sri Lanka,” sources told Dawn.

“If Misbah fails to regain his form against Australia and New Zealand, he may lose his captaincy to Afridi before the World Cup,” sources said.

Afridi has a good captaincy record in ODI format, as he led national team to 18 wins in 34 matches he captained while losing 15, and one match ending in no result.

In T20 games however, Afridi’s captaincy record is not very impressive. In 19 T20 games he led the national team, Pakistan won only eight and lost 11.

It is also learnt that head coach Waqar Younis, who has not had a very cordial relationship with Afridi in the past, has not yet been consulted by the chairman over the issue of T20 captaincy as the former fast bowler was scheduled to arrive in Pakistan from Australia late Monday night.

Sources said the chairman also attended the cricket committee meeting in Lahore on Monday and consulted it over the choice of Afridi as captain.

Apparently, he got the nod of all the members including Intikhab Alam, Iqbal Qasim, Haroon Rasheed and Zakir Khan. The committee is headed by Islamabad Cricket Association president Shakil Sheikh.

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