It is likelihood, that Pakistan Cricket Board will announce Shahid Afridi as a skipper of the Pakistan Cricket Team for the World Cup 2011. Afridi proved his worth in the third ODI in which he starred with a cracking 65 from 25 balls. He said with determination after match that, “we want to win the series and the more matches we win it will mean we will go into the world cup with full confidence and moral sky high”. Where cricket is game of mind and physic both, confidence besides strategy is directly proportional to the chances to win game. People want to see well deserved Shahid Afridi leading Pakistani team in ICC World Cup 2011.
The squad announced comprises of Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younus Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir and Ahmad Shahzad. Selectors didn’t announce the name of captain and vice-captain in the final squad. It was delayed till Zealand ODI series. Thus the scales seemed to have heavily tilted in favor of Shahid Afridi after series leveling with New Zealand.
The are speculations that Misbah-ul-Haq might have been a choice for selectors to lead the national cricket team. On basis of his successful track record, he led Pakistan in the recently concluded two-match Test series that Pakistan won by 1-0. However it is suggested that Selectors should not forget that Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to win the T20 World Cup in 2009.
Moreover, it would be unwise to change the captain at this stage while few days are left and ICC World Cup is approaching near. Shahid Afridi has been leading the Pakistani Cricket team in ODI since late 2009 with many laurals in his crown as captain and as all rounder. The timing for changing captain is crucial thus several former players and legends have talked about changing captain at this stage. Furthermore changing captain’s frequently has already damaged the team in the past that translated into poor performance. A captain appointment should be given a long run to prove himself.
There has been eye brow raising debate going on in the cricketing circles after PCB announced the World Cup squad of 15 players last month but did not name the captain. It is believed after Newzeland Series this debate seeing some logical conclusions and finally Chairman Ejaz Butt may announce the captain without further delay.
“I don’t think it is a good move to change the captain now, since Afridi has been leading the team for the last year, it makes no sense to change him now” Shoaib Malik the former Pakistani Captain said. Boom Boom Afridi is known for his attacking strategy, and as the temperature is rising among fans of cricket in Pakistan, demand to make him captain is also raising. He is an experienced all-rounder who can play aggressively with the bat and can put pressure over the opponent with the ball.
The selection of Captain for the Pakistan Cricket Team has unnecessarily been made controversial and politicized particularly after Pakistan trio Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Asif and Salman Butt have been targeted for the spot fixing. Misbah-ur-Rehman could have been a good choice if he was trained for leading Pakistani team. Thus changing captain so frequently while Pakistani Cricket team is already facing many pressures inward and outward is not in favour of the team.
Cricket is second religion in Pakistan and respecting the wishes of Pakistanis is important besides the capabilities of a skipper. Boom Boom Afridi has proved always himself a lion and lion should be leading a team that goes into battlefield to win.