Afridi to remain captain, for now

Published: March 3, 2016
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PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan promises changes in team, management but asks for patience. PHOTO: AFP

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan promises changes in team, management but asks for patience. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has thrown his weight behind struggling T20 skipper Shahid Afridi, for now, stating that he will lead Pakistan in the World T20 starting this month in India.

Pakistan were knocked out of the race to play the Asia Cup final after being defeated by hosts Bangladesh on Wednesday. The loss led to public outrage and there were calls to make wholesale changes by axing Afridi, the team management and even the selection committee.

However, the PCB chief said that while changes may eventually be made, there won’t be any kneejerk reactions right now.

Asia Cup: Bangladesh stun Pakistan to reach final

“Afridi will lead Pakistan in the World T20 even if I’m told by my advisors Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan to remove him,” said Shaharyar while addressing media at the PCB headquarters in Lahore.

“We are considering Afridi’s captaincy but we can’t act too quickly,” he added. “Afridi has served Pakistan for 15 years and has been a match-winner. Changing the captain right now will be a disgrace for a great stalwart of Pakistan. When I came in as chairman, Afridi said that he wanted to captain the team in the 2016 World T20 and then retire.”

The official, however, assured that there will be changes in the team before Pakistan play their World T20 opener, and added that there will be accountability of the coach, the team’s performance, and the selection process of the team.

Afridi lost his place in the team a few years back: Javed Miandad

He further added that nobody will be made a scapegoat for the team’s poor showings in Bangladesh, while changes will come into effect later.

Shaharyar also hinted that once the final World T20 squad is selected after few more changes, the current selection committee led by Haroon Rasheed could be dissolved.

“We can’t finish this selection committee right now because they will be required to make changes in the next three to four days,” he said. “I had reservations on one or two players when the T20I team was submitted to me. I sent it back for reconsideration but the selectors said that it was their unanimous decision to carry the same team after discussions with Afridi and Waqar Younis.”

BCCI secretary hopeful of Pak-India match in Dharamsala

Reflecting on the issue of Pakistan’s match against India in the World T20, Shaharyar said that there are genuine threats to the Pakistan team and they will need an official announcement from the Indian government that the players will be safe.

“There is a Pakistan-specific threat in India with Shiv Sena, Congress and other groups publicly speaking against Pakistan,” he said. “The Himachal Pardesh Chief Minister, Virbahadur Singh, has also stated they can’t guarantee security to Pakistan. The Indian government should officially announce that they would ensure full security to Pakistan but that has not been done. We want reassurances from them.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Haji Atiya
    Mar 4, 2016 - 9:23AM

    Like PIA, with these characters around don’t expect any changes, apart from a few cosmetic ones, any time soon. Rather this may force the emergence of a parallel apex cricket body in Pakistan which does its selection less on political connections and favoritism and more on merit and competence. Recommend

  • mansoor
    Mar 4, 2016 - 9:37AM

    Given the Pakistan team’s current performance and their horrid run at the Asia Cup and given the security issues faced not just at Dharmsala but elsewhere in India too, should Pakistan manage to reach the knock out rounds, would it be a repeat of what happened in the 2011 World Cup ? Recommend

  • SK
    Mar 4, 2016 - 10:08AM

    From the statement, I am forced to infer that Afridi’s respect is more important than country’s. Secondly and more importantly failure is reflection to poor and nepotist setup of PCB as a whole right from Sethi all the way to players including Sheheryar KhanRecommend

  • nafees
    Mar 4, 2016 - 10:19AM

    With Afridi as Captain, his selfie friend and the top order batting line up, our only hope for an honorable outcome of World T-20 is that Shiv Sena or Congress hooligans or some other group disrupts our matches at Dharamsala!Recommend

  • ABC
    Mar 4, 2016 - 10:23AM

    PCB chairman said since I am Pathan and Afridi is Pathan and I have given my words to him, so he will stay captain. What kind of racist captain and chairmain are we having in PCB?Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Mar 4, 2016 - 11:01AM

    @ABC:
    And notwithstanding some mild criticisms now and then, that’s why IK does not really take PCB to task. If he had really wanted, he could make this a major political rallying point against PML-N, but, no !Recommend

  • babloo
    Mar 4, 2016 - 11:10AM

    That’s how business works my friend. And a great move indeed. Afridi is the greatest cricketing entertainer at present. Many people simply tune in to see him play. His presence is enough to generate great revenues all over the world.You can compare him to The Undertaker of WWE, been since a long time and fans love him like anything (Also does terrific business at wrestlemania) Looking forward to some wonderful TRP rates in this world cup. All the best Boom Boom Afridi!

    ps-( Trp’s rates and revenue will be much higher if you keep hitting sixes, try to regain your form, there is still time :) )Recommend

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