Akram backs PCB''s decision to retain Afridi as skipper

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Karachi, Jan 14 (PTI) Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akramhas backed the PCB''s decision to retain Shahid Afridi as thenational team captain for the one-day series in New Zealand.

Akram''s comments came in the wake of the raging debateover whether Afridi should lead the team in the forthcomingWorld Cup. Some former greats have backed Test captain,Misbah-ul-Haq, to lead the country in the prestigious one-daytournament.

"I feel that changing the captain so close to the WorldCup will cause great damage to the national team and itschances in the tournament," Akram told reporters on thesidelines of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy final.

Akram, however, advised Afridi to work hard on hisbatting and bring more consistency and lead the team from thefront.

The board, who is yet to announce the captain for theWorld Cup, added fuel to fire when it said that it is alsouncertain about appointing Afridi.

The board however named Afridi as captain for thesix-match one-day series in New Zealand this week.

Akram felt the selectors had made a mistake by notincluding senior batsman Muhammad Yousuf for the series.

"Yousuf is a very seasoned campaigner and I think, in theWorld Cup, when the pressure will be high and all matches willbe important you need someone like Yousuf in the middle orderto stabilise things. He should be in the side," Akram said.

The selectors gave no reasons for sidelining Yousuf forthe series in New Zealand, but kept him in the World Cuppreliminary squad of 30 players.

The selectors expressed their unhappiness over thefitness of Yousuf which would be tested when he leads theLahore team in the national one-day championship from today.

Akram also supported having the five-day Quaid AzamTrophy final under lights.

"I think such changes in Test cricket as well will makeit more attractive for spectators who now want more action andcolour in the sport after the advent of T20 cricket," he said.

"There is nothing wrong in making such experiments thatcan prove beneficial to not only our domestic cricket but alsoTest cricket in future," he said.

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