Lahore, Apr 12 UNI | 3 months ago

Despite speculations about dashing all-rounder, Shahid Afridi leading Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2015, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sources turned down any discussions of change of guard before the quadrennial event to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. PCB sources said all rumours pertaining to the national one-day team captaincy were unfounded.


"There is no plan to change Misbah as captain of the Test or ODI sides as he has led the players well in both formats and is now an experienced campaigner and more importantly his own individual performances have been exemplary and consistent," a source said. He conceded that a lobby was interested in bringing back Afridi as the one-day captain before the World Cup but the chairman of the board, Najam Sethi was convinced there was no justification for changing Misbah ahead of the World Cup early next year. "The board is definitely looking for a new captain to lead the national T20 side after the resignation of Mohammad Hafeez and it is true that some names have been discussed among them Afridi, Umar Akmal and even Ahmad Shahzad by the chairman," he said. The source said Sethi had a good understanding with former captain, Moin Khan and would take his feedback on who should be the new captain of the T20 side. "But as far as the ODI side is considered he has conveyed to Moin there is no justification for removing Misbah that is unless the team starts performing very poorly in the one-day matches leading up to the World Cup," the source added.

Misbah has been leading the Test side since 2010 and the one-day squad since May 2011. He was also the national T20 captain until 2012 when the board decided to replace him with Hafeez.

Former Test pacer, Sarfaraz Nawaz and some other former players have even suggested giving back the national T20 captaincy to Misbah for the time being.

The source said the PCB chief had some reform plans for Pakistan cricket and some former players like Moin, Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis would have important roles to play in this implementing this plan.

"Moin who has already served as manager and head coach of the national team during Sethi's tenure since last year is certain to get a key responsibility once again," the source said.

He said this could be either the chief selector's position or even the head coach post if the board was unable to convince Younis for this responsibility.

(Posted on 12-04-2014)