With doubts surrounding all-rounder Shahid Afridi’s participation in the upcoming Super Eight T20 Cup, the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) has named Mohammad Sami as the captain of its regional team, the Karachi Dolphins.
Test discarded Sami will lead the side after the all-rounder, involved in a legal tussle with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), is likely to be barred from the local tournament that is scheduled to take place in Faisalabad.
The KCCA had announced Afridi as the Dolphins’ captain but according to reports, the PCB, which suspended his central contract apart from revoking his NOC to play in foreign leagues, is most likely to act as a thorn again. Keeping that in mind, the KCCA has decided to name experienced campaigner Sami as the new leader.
“We’ve made up our mind,” the KCCA President Sirajul Islam Bukhari told The Express Tribune.
“Sami is an experienced player and will be the best choice if Afridi doesn’t get the permission. We are still waiting for PCB’s reply but we have to keep our options open.”
Meanwhile, Bukhari also hinted that the KCCA was in no mood to protest against Afridi’s possible exclusion from the upcoming tournament.
“We’re bound and will have to follow instructions from the PCB.”
While Sami replaces Afridi as captain, Bukhari said that the 35-year old off-spinner Haaris Ayaz will be named as the all-rounder’s replacement in the squad.
PCB yet to make the decision
Meanwhile, the PCB said it was yet to take a final decision on Afridi.
“We haven’t decided on the issue yet and we’re looking at the pros and cons of his participation,” said a PCB official. “We’ll send our reply to the KCCA in a day or two.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2011.
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