Captaincy issue haunts Pakistan again

Lahore, Jan 16 (PTI) The ghosts of captaincy have onceagain come back to haunt Pakistan cricket team with someplayers and officials raising questions over the behaviour andattitude of current skipper Shahid Afridi.

Well placed sources aware of developments in Pakistancricket have told PTI that Afridi retained the captaincy forthe one-day series in New Zealand just by a whisker.

"They were serious deliberations within the board onretaining him as captain after getting some negative reportsabout his behavior and attitude after the T20 series in NewZealand," one source disclosed.

"Right now there is a 50-50 split within the board and inthe team management on whether Afridi should be allowed tocaptain the team in the World Cup or this responsibilityshould pass to Misbah-ul-Haq," the source said.

He said there were different reasons for Afridi losingfavor with the establishment. One of them were growingcomplaints from fellow players and team and board officialsthat he was too friendly with the media.

"The second complaint was that he was too over bearingand was making some players uncomfortable and unhappy with hisattitude. Plus the crucial issue of his own performances havealso come under the scanner," another source said.

He said that team manager Intikhab Alam and coach WaqarYounis had conveyed to the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt after theone-day series in the UAE against South Africa that someplayers were not feeling comfortable playing under Afridi.

"That is the reason why Ijaz Butt called him for ameeting in Lahore recently in which he was told in clear termsto change his attitude and pull himself up," the source added.

The PCB has announced Afridi as captain for the ODIs inNew Zealand but have stopped short of announcing him as WorldCup captain although the tournament begins from February 19while the series in New Zealand ends on February 5th.

"This is because Butt is still uncertain about what todo," the source said.

He said that the selectors were keen to also name theWorld Cup squad this week but it was put off because of thecaptaincy issue.

"There is a possibility now that the board might announcethe World Cup squad on January 19th but wait until the seriesis over in New Zealand before announcing the captain for theWorld Cup," the source said. .

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