IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Speculation grows over Pakistan captain


Pakistan will announce a captain for the World Twenty20 in the next couple of days, as speculation grows over the identity of the man in the wake of meetings the board chairman Ijaz Butt is said to have had with a number of players.

On Friday, the selection committee had taken the unusual step of naming a 15-man squad for the defense of the world title without appointing a captain, and over the weekend Butt is reported to have met four candidates: Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq and Salman Butt.

The vacancy has arisen out of circumstance: Afridi was meant to be Pakistan’s captain in the format but the ball-biting incident in Perth has seen question marks appear over his role. He was banned by the ICC for two games and has also recently been fined heavily by the board. Though some in the hierarchy are keen to have him resume the role, there is said to be opposition after the Perth incident.

Shoaib Malik, who took over for two Twenty internationals in Afridi’s absence and has led the side in all three formats, including a run to the World Twenty20 final in 2007, would’ve been in the running but he is now out of international cricket for at least a year following a PCB-imposed ban.

That leaves few options in the current squad, increasing the chances of, in particular, Misbah and Razzaq, whose experience will help them. Butt is said to have held one-on-one meetings with the candidates, though he refused to comment on them.

“In the next few days we will name a captain for the World Twenty20 but beyond that I will not say anything,” Butt told Cricinfo.

There has been speculation over the board wanting to unify the leadership for all formats. Butt, however, seemed to play that down for now. “We are only naming a captain for this format and tournament right now and nothing else,” he said.

Pakistan’s next Test and ODI assignment isn’t until this summer when they head to England to play six Tests against Australia and the hosts, as well as a series of ODIs. Though they will be in no rush to name a captain for the other formats, it will be a tricky decision given that their previous two Test and ODI captains, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, are both banned for indefinite periods.

Troubles with the leadership began last year when Malik was removed after a series loss to Sri Lanka amid mounting unrest over his leadership. Since then, Younis has stepped down twice as captain, to be replaced by Yousuf, whose own place is now in doubt. Afridi took over as Twenty20 captain when Younis – having led the side to the title in June 2009 – retired from the format.
Source:Cricket News

Image Source:Cricinfo

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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 14th, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.

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