The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should toss a coin, or put names inside a hat and pick one. It’s not like they will end up missing out on a great choice. You may hate me for this,but, right now, there is no right guy. Yes, I am talking about the World Cup captain of the Pakistan team.
Shahid Afridi has been leading the limited-overs side for a while now. But other than that, what are his credentials? He may have some, and I will give you that. He has the ability to turn a match around with either his bowling or his batting, and of late, apart from his ball-eating antics or his inability to decide if he wants to play Tests or not, Afridi has definitely matured. But his habit of throwing away his wicket to senseless shots is annoying and reeks of irresponsibility. The biggest thing going for him is that he is the best choice in the current line-up. And that’s really not saying a lot, is it?
And then we have Misbahul Haq.He is a guy who has made a career out of come-backs, then doing something phenomenal, and then fading away. At almost 37, I hope he is not dreaming of doing an Imran Khan on us and earning glory in the twilight of his career.
So, with these wonderful choices, why can’t the PCB make up its mind? Let’s just talk about the players who will be playing under this still-uknown captain. In a setup like Pakistan’s where everything is politicised, they need to know who they will eventually be pandering up to, in order to make sure that their place in the team is secure. So come on, give the poor guys a break and let them know who the boss is.
I mean, God forbid, if a player starts to chum up to Misbah and then suddenly Afridi is in the driving seat. And the same goes for the players who are supporting Afridi right now. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes if the tables are turned.
In the end, it is probably all for the good anyway. Are you telling me that there are people who believe that the choice of captain is going to improve our chances of winning the World Cup?
At least now, when Pakistan does lose, the players can say they failed because the captaincy ruckus unsettled them.
The writer is a content and style editor at the Express Tribune
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2011.