Afridi’s job is safe, PCB chairman declares

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Lahore—Shahid Afridi will retain his position as the national T20 captain until the end of the upcoming World T20 despite a disastrous exit from the Asia Cup, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Thursday.
Pakistan were knocked out from the Asia Cup Twenty20 following a five-wicket-defeat at the hands of hosts Bangladesh on Wednesday. Afridi’s side have thus far only managed to beat UAE in the tournament while they also suffered a thumping loss to India.
“I promised Shahid Afridi that he will be retained as Pakistan captain until the end of the World T20,” said Khan in a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
However, the PCB chief hinted at the possibility of changes in the national side as well as the team management before the World T20.
“I should held responsible for the team’s poor performance as well,” Khan said, calling for accountability within the PCB.
Shaharyar revealed that he had expressed dissatisfaction over the inclusion of several player in the Pakistan squad for the Asia Cup and World T20 — but the final decision had to be taken by the selection committee.
“The selection committee took decisions after the input of the captain and the coach.”
The PCB chairman said he had also consulted Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq over Pakistan’s recent performances.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the ongoing Asia Twenty20 Cup in Bangladesh has compelled former captain Mohammad Yousuf to insist Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) include fast bowler Mohammad Asif and former captain Salman Butt in the T20 World Cup squad.
“I’ve been saying from day one that if you are playing Mohammad Aamir, then Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt should also be given a second chance,” he said talking to Geo News.
The pair, along with pacer Mohammad Amir was jailed in Britain after being found involved in spot fixing at the 2010 Lord’s Test against England. They also have completed the ban imposed by ICC. Although Amir has returned to the national team in an impressive manner, Asif and Butt were not considered in Pakistan’s squad for the ongoing T20 Asia Cup and the upcoming T20 World Cup, to be held in India.
“If Asif were bowling on these (Bangladesh) pitches, he would have created a lot of trouble for other teams. Similarly, Butt is a very genuine batsman. Keeping in view the current scenario – the way our batting is going on and the way we bowl at times; they can make an easy entry to the team. We very badly need these two players,” he remarked.
He said Pakistan needed real batsmen and bowlers and not allrounders stating, “We should have four genuine fast bowlers and a spinner in the form of Shahid Afridi.”
Yousaf said that Pakistan batsmen lacked proper application and technique stating that they try to hit themselves out of the trouble on pitches which were somewhat bowler supportive. “Look this is international cricket. This technique doesn’t work here,” he added.—APP

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