Afridi retained as Pakistan captain for World Cup

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Karachi, Feb 4 (PTI) Ending weeks of speculations,Pakistan today named experienced all-rounder, Shahid Afridi asthe captain of the national team for the ICC cricket World Cupto begin in Dhaka on February 19.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said that Afridi would leadthe team while Test captain and another front-runner for thejob, Misbah-ul-Haq would be his deputy in the mega-event to bejointly co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"The board has retained Afridi as captain for the WorldCup. Waqar Younis and Aaqib Javed will also continue as headcoach and bowling consultant in the competition," PCB mediamanager Nadeem Sarwar said.

The PCB also appointed a security advisor, Wasim Ahmed toaccompany the team in the World Cup after the post was lyingvacant following the resignation of Khawaja Naeem.

The PCB also announced that vice-captain Misbah would bepart of the tour selection committee for the World Cup, whichalso includes manager (Intikhan Alam), coach and the captain.

Interestingly, the board has named Alam as the chairmanof the tour selection committee.

Afridi''s appointment as World Cup captain was a formalityafter he led Pakistan to its first ODI series win since 2008,when it defeated New Zealand in the fifth one-dayinternational in Hamilton yesterday.

Former captain Moin Khan hailed Afridi''s reinstatement asPakistan skipper but said PCB created an "unnecessarycontroversy" by delaying the captaincy announcement.

"It was logical to retain Afridi as captain for this bigevent after the way he inspired the team to its first ODIseries win in New Zealand in 17 years," Moin said.

"I think the board only created unnecessary controversyand speculations by delaying the decision. The World Cup teamwas already announced last month and it was high time, theboard announced the captain. Afridi is a good choice," headded.

He pointed out that Afridi had been leading Pakistan inODIs and Twenty20 matches since last year and so far did agood job.

"This talk about Misbah being considered as a captaincycandidate for the World Cup started because of the board''sindecision," Moin noted.

Former captain and wicket-keeper Rashid Latif, who is inDubai these days with the Afghanistan team, also agreed withMoin.

"Afridi was always the logical choice because he has beenleading the team since last year and now the players are alsoresponding to him. He also understand his captaincy style wellnow. The biggest thing is that Afridi has shown lot ofcommitment for his job," Latif said.

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