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Rating all the captains in Pakistan's cricket history

Updated Jan 08, 2017 03:39pm

No two captains are the same.

Excellent: ★ ★ ★ ★
Good: ★ ★ ★
Average: ★ ★
Poor: ★


Abdul Hafeez Kardar ★ ★ ★ ★

All-Rounder. Left-Handed Batsman; Left-Arm-Spin Bowler.

Captaincy Tenure: 1952-58

From: Lahore

Captaincy style: Authoritarian; detached; inspirational; stubborn.

Captaincy Peak: Dramatically squaring Pakistan’s first ever series against England in England after being one-down in 1954.

Unique Tactic: Used to leave chits of paper with instructions and inspirational quotes written on them in the hotel rooms of the players.

Controversies: Alleged to have kept talented batsman, Raees Mohammad, out of the team to keep his friend, Maqsood Ahmad, in.

Captaincy Record: 23 Tests. 6 Won. 6 Lost. 11 Drawn.

The Pakistan squad in London during the team’s first ever tour of England in 1954.
The Pakistan squad in London during the team’s first ever tour of England in 1954.

Fazal Mahmood ★ ★

Right-Arm Swing Bowler; Lower-Order Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1958-61

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Rigid; aloof; mistrustful.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was severely criticised for being overtly defensive during the 1960 tour of India and spending more time at parties than in the nets.

Captaincy Peaks: Wining a home series against a strong West Indian side in 1959.

Captaincy Record: 10 Tests. 2 Won. 2 Lost. 6 Drawn.

Fazal with Indian film actor Raj Kapoor during Pakistan’s 1960 tour of India.
Fazal with Indian film actor Raj Kapoor during Pakistan’s 1960 tour of India.

Imtiaz Ahmad ★

Wicketkeeper-Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1961-62

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Insipid; defensive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: None.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 4 Tests. 0 Won. 2 Lost. 2 Drawn.

Javed Burki ★

Right-Handed Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 1962

From: Lahore

Captaincy style: Rigid; inexperienced; arrogant; uninspired.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Had a falling out with senior players during the 1962 tour of England. Formed a clique of players around him and used them to communicate with the senior players he had had a falling out with.

Captaincy Peaks: Was the youngest Pakistan captain at the time (aged 24).

Captaincy Record: 5 Tests. 0 Won. 4 Lost. 1 Drawn.

Hanif Muhammad ★ ★

Right-Handed Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1963-67

From: Karachi

Captaincy Style: Defensive; reticent; detached.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Alluded that he had been removed as captain in 1967 due to the ‘politics of the Lahore lobby.’ Was booed by the crowd in Lahore.

Captaincy Peaks: A 2-0 series victory against New Zealand in 1964.

Captaincy Record: 11 Tests. 2 Won. 2 Lost. 7 Drawn.

Hanif introduces the Pakistan team to the Queen of England (1967).
Hanif introduces the Pakistan team to the Queen of England (1967).

Saeed Ahmad ★

Right-Handed Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1968

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Aloof; haughty; egoistical; self-centered.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Clashed with the selectors during his very first Test as captain. Allegedly ‘conspired to oust Hanif Mohammad as captain.’

Was considered to be ‘selfish’ by teammates. Was booed by the crowds in Karachi.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 3 Tests. 0 Won. 0 Lost. 3 Drawn.

Intikhab Alam ★ ★

All-Rounder. Right-Arm-Leg-Spinner; Lower-Middle-Order-Batsman

Tenure: 1969-73; 1974-76.

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Approachable; professional; defensive.

Unique Tactic: None

Controversies: Tried to leverage his friendship with chief of the Pakistan cricket board, A H. Kardar, to retain his captaincy and not be replaced by Mushtaq Mohammad in 1976.

Captaincy Peaks: Drawing the 1974 series against England (in England) which was the time’s leading Test side.

Captained Pakistan in its first ever ODI.

Captaincy Record: 17 Tests. 1 Won. 5 Lost. 11 Drawn. 3 ODIs. 2 Won. 1 Lost.

Intikhab introduces his team to the Queen (London, 1971).
Intikhab introduces his team to the Queen (London, 1971).

Majid Khan ★

Right-Handed Batsman; Occasional Off-Break-Bowler; Occasional Wicketkeeper.

Captaincy Tenure: 1973

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Aloof; uninspired; defensive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: None.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 3 Tests. 0 Won. 0 Lost. 3 Drawn. 2 ODIs. 1 Won. 1 Lost.

Mushtaq Muhammad ★ ★ ★ ★

All-Rounder; Right-Handed-Batsman; Right-Arm-Leg-Spinner.

Captaincy Tenure: 1976-77; 1978-79.

From: Karachi

Captaincy style: Proactive; aggressive; inspiring; innovative.

Unique Tactic: Used to purposely affront the team’s more temperamental and volatile players so they could exhibit more aggression on the field

Controversies: Encouraged his players to sledge during the 1976 series against Australia and then during the 1978 series against India.

Asked his fast bowlers to bowl bouncers and injure the batsman during an ODI against India in 1978. The Indian team walked out in protest.

Alleged that he was removed as captain due to ‘conspiracies’ hatched by his vice-captain Asif Iqbal in 1979.

Captaincy Peaks: 1976: Squaring the series against Australia in Australia after being 0ne-down.

1978: Defeating India 2-0.

Helping Imran Khan develop into a genuine fast bowler.

Introduced Javed Miandad.

Captaincy Record: 19 Tests. 8 Won. 4 Lost. 7 Drawn. 4 ODIs. 2 Won. 2 Lost.

Mushtaq was well respected by the players.
Mushtaq was well respected by the players.

Wasim Bari ★

Wicket-Keeper; Lower-Order-Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1977-78.

From: Karachi

Captaincy Style: Defensive; unimaginative; uninspiring.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: None.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 6 Tests. 0 Won. 2 Lost. 4 Drawn. 5 ODIs. 1 Won. 4 Lost.

Asif Iqbal ★

Right-Handed Batsman; Occasion Right-Arm-Medium-Pace-Bowler

Captaincy Tenure: 1975 (only for ODIs); 1979.

From: Karachi

Captaincy Style: Cavalier; aloof; rigid.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was alleged to have ‘maneuvered Mushtaq Mohammad’s ouster as captain.’

Seemed to be all at sea as captain during the long 1979 tour of India where bad performances on the field were further magnified by reports of players spending their nights at raunchy parties.

Refused to take Sarfaraz Nawaz to India because ‘he was uncontrollable’.

Captaincy Peaks: Almost led Pakistan to a win against world champions West Indies in the semi-finals of the 1979 World Cup.

Captaincy Record: 6 Tests. 0 Won. 2 Lost. 4 Drawn. 6 ODIs. 2 Won. 4 Lost.

Asif with Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, walks out for the toss in the last Test of the 1979 India-Pakistan series.
Asif with Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, walks out for the toss in the last Test of the 1979 India-Pakistan series.

Javed Miandad ★ ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman. Occasional Leg-Spinner.

Captaincy Tenure: 1980-82; 1984-86; 1987 (for 1 series); 1988 (for 1 series); 1990 (for 1 series); 1992-93.

From: Karachi.

Captaincy Style: Aggressive; confrontational; impulsive; innovative; ‘street-smart.’

Unique Tactic: Encouraged players to upset opposing batsmen through sledging.

Controversies: Got into a physical altercation with Australian fast bowler, Dennis Lillee, during Pakistan’s 1981 tour of Australia. Lillee was fined.

Had a falling out with Majid Khan during the same tour. Both players never spoke again – even while batting together.

Faced a players’ rebellion in 1982 and then again in 1993.

Alleged that Imran Khan was behind the 1993 rebellion, even though Khan had retired in 1992.

Captaincy Peaks: Led Pakistan into the finals of a 1985 International ODI tournament in Australia.

Swept the 1990 series against New Zealand, 3-0.

Won 2-0 against England in England in 1992.

Introduced off-spinner Tauseef Ahmad and fast bowler, Wasim Akram.

Captaincy Record: 35 Tests. 14 Won; 5 Lost; 14 Draw. 62 ODIs. 26 Won; 33 Lost

Miandad with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younus.
Miandad with Wasim Akram and Waqar Younus.

Zaheer Abbas ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 1983-84.

From: Karachi.

Captaincy Style: Defensive; aloof; uncommunicative.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: The 1984 series against New Zealand in Pakistan was noisily criticized by the NZ captain for being ‘tilted towards Pakistan’s favor through biased umpiring.’

Pakistan won the series 2-0.

The NZ skipper Jeremey Coney hinted that Pakistan would face similar umpiring when they tour NZ.

Zaheer promptly resigned as captain just before Pakistan’s 1985 tour of NZ. And when he did join the tour (as Vice-Captain), he sent leg-spinner Abdul Qadir home after the spinner refused to follow Zaheer’s instructions during a side game.

Captaincy Peaks: 2-0 victory against NZ in 1984.

Captaincy Record: 14 Tests. 3 Won; 1 Lost; 10 Drawn. 13 ODIs. 7 Won; 5 Lost

Imran Khan ★ ★ ★ ★

All-Rounder. Right-Handed-Batsman; Right-Arm-Fast-Bowler

Captaincy Tenture: 1982-84; 1986-87; 1988-92

From: Lahore.

Captaincy Style: Aggressive; authoritarian; innovative; flamboyant.

Unique Tactic: Loved to confuse the opposition by making exaggerated statements before the series. For example:

Though praising volatile spinner Abdul Qadir as a ‘wizard with the ball’ just before Pakistan’s tour of England in 1982 was not so off-the-mark, Khan actually asked Qadir to grow a prominent goatee so he could look like a wizard as well!

During an ODI tournament in Australia in 1989, Imran told the Australian press that Manzoor Ilahi was ‘the hardest hitting batsman in the world.’ Illahi was at best an average all-rounder. But when he came into bat, the Australian captain spread out the team believing Manzoor would hit out. Instead, he kept plucking easy singles due to the spread out field. He eventually did smash a six, though.

During an ODI tournament in Sharjah in 1988, before Pakistan’s game against India, Imran said that the Kashmir issue should be decided on the cricket field. Pakistan won that game.

Controversies: Imran kept playing Mansoor Akhtar despite his many failures.

He kept Iqbal Qasim out of the side, only to include him on the 1987 tour of India on the insistence of Vice-captain Javed Miandad.

Qasim Umar and Younas Ahmad alleged that Khan encouraged his players to ‘bring girls into their hotel rooms for one-night-stands.’

Khan refused to play two series at home in October because ‘it was the hottest month of the year in Pakistan.’

Often cursed fumbling players on the field.

Captaincy Peaks: Beating Australia 3-0 and then India 3-0 at home in 1982-83.

Beating England in England and India in India in 1987.

Winning an international ODI tournament in India in 1989.

Winning the 1992 World Cup.

Putting Abdul Qadir back into the side.

Grooming Wasim Akram.

Introducing Waqar Younus, Saleem Jaffar and Aquib Javed.

Captaincy Record: 48 Tests. 14 Won; 8 Lost; 26 Drawn.139 ODIs. 75 Won; 59 Lost

Khan with his three fast-bowling protégés: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Aaqib Javed (1989).
Khan with his three fast-bowling protégés: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Aaqib Javed (1989).

Khan was pretty demonstrative when angry.
Khan was pretty demonstrative when angry.

Wasim Akram ★ ★ ★

All-Rounder. Left-Arm-Fast-Bowler; Left-Handed-Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1993-94; 1995-96; 1997-99.

From: Lahore.

Captaincy Style: Aggressive; flamboyant; confrontational.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was openly abusive to the players on the field.

Faced a players’ rebellion in 1994.

Was arrested with three other players for publically smoking marijuana on a beach during Pakistan’s 1993 tour of the West Indies.

Dropped out from the squad just before the vital quarterfinal against India in the 1996 World Cup. His house was attacked after Pakistan lost that game.

Had tense relations with fellow fast bowler, Waqar Younus and coach, Javed Miandad.

Captaincy Peaks: Won series against England in England in 1996.

Led Pakistan into the finals of the 1999 World Cup.

Squared a series and then won the Asian Test Championship in India during the peak of tensions between India and Pakistan in 1999.

Captaincy Record: 25 Tests. 12 Won; 8 Lost; 5 Drawn. 109 ODIs. 66 Won; 41 Lost

Not amused.
Not amused.

Salim Malik ★ ★

Right-Handed Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1994-95

From: Lahore.

Captaincy Style: Calm; aloof; secretive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was banned for life for indulging in match-fixing.

Captaincy Peaks: Winning a tense game against Australia by just 1 wicket in 1994 (Karachi).

Captaincy Record: 12 Tests. 7 Won; 3 Lost; 2 Drawn. 34 ODIs. 21 Won; 11 Lost

Rameez Raja ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 1995-96; 1997.

From: Lahore.

Captaincy Style: Steady; defensive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was reprimanded by the board for writing ‘condescending articles against his own players’ during an ODI tournament in India in 1997.

Captaincy Record: 5 Tests. 1 Won; 2 Lost; 2 Drawn. 22 ODIs. 7 Won; 13 Lost

Saeed Anwar ★

Left-Handed-Batsman

Captaincy Tenture: 1997; 1999.

From: Karachi.

Captaincy Style: Timid; bland; defensive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: None.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 7 Tests. 1 Won; 4 Lost; 2 Drawn.11 ODIs. 5 Won; 6 Lost

Aamir Sohail ★

Left-Handed-Batsman. Occasional Left-Arm-Spinner

Captaincy Tenure: 1998

From: Lahore.

Captaincy Style: Dogmatic; uninspired; confrontational.

Unique Tactic: None

Controversies: Accused the selectors of refusing to give him the side he wanted to field. Resigned in anger.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 6 Tests. 1 Won; 2 Lost; 3 Drawn. 22 ODIs. 9 Won; 12 Lost

Moin Khan ★ ★

Wicketkeeper-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 1997; 1999; 2000-1

From: Karachi.

Captaincy Style: Street-smart.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: None.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 13 Tests. 4 Won; 2 Lost; 7 Drawn. 34 ODIs. 20 Won; 14 Lost

Waqar Younis ★ ★ ★

Right-Arm-Fast-Bowler; Lower Order Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 2001-2003

From: Vehari.

Captaincy Style: Attacking.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was taken off by the umpires for bowling head-high beamers to batsmen during Pakistan’s match against Australia in the 2003 World Cup. Refused to attend the post-match ceremony after Pakistan lost that game.

Captaincy Peaks: Drawing a series against England in England in 2001 in tough conditions.

Captaincy Record: 17 Tests. 10 Won; 7 Lost; 0 Drawn. 62 ODIs. 37 Won; 23 Lost

Waqar advising his fast bowling partner, Wasim.
Waqar advising his fast bowling partner, Wasim.

Rashid Latif ★ ★

Wicketkeeper-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 1998; 2003-4.

From: Karachi

Unique Tactic: None.

Captaincy Style: Confrontational; temperamental.

Controversies: Was suspended (and then removed as captain) after claiming a false catch during a Test against Bangladesh in 2004.

Captaincy Peaks: Introduced Yasser Hamid and Muhammad Hafeez.

Captaincy Record: 6 Tests. 4 Won; 1 Lost; 1 Drawn. 25 ODIs. 13 Won; 12 Lost

Inzimam-ul-Haq ★ ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 2001; 2003-2007.

From: Multan

Captaincy Style: Understated; diplomatic; ‘fatherly.’

Unique Tactic: Utilised religious sermons and rituals to exercise control over a volatile team.

Controversies: Was alleged to have kept Misbah-ul-Haq out of the squad ‘because he was more educated and urbane’ and ‘could threaten his captaincy.’

Frequently clashed with fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar because he refused to conform to Inzimam’s ‘religious tactics.’

Captaincy Peaks: Squared a tough series against India (in India) in 2004-5 after being one-down.

Captaincy Record: 31 Tests. 11 Won; 11 Lost; 9 Drawn. 87 ODIs. 51 Won; 33 Lost. 1 T20. 1 Won. O Lost.

Inzi had a tense relationship with tear-away fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar.
Inzi had a tense relationship with tear-away fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar.

Shoaib Malik ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman; Right-Arm-Off-Break-Bowler

Captaincy Tenure: 2007-2008

From: Sialkot.

Captaincy Style: Mercurial; Confrontational.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Resigned the captaincy after clashing with the cricket board.

Captaincy Peaks: Recalled Misbah-ul-Haq.

Led Pakistan to the final of the 2007 T-20 World Cup.

Captaincy Record: 3 Tests. 0 Won; 2 Lost; 1 Drawn. 36 ODIs. 24 Won; 12 Lost. 17 T20. 12 Won. 4 Lost.

Younis Khan ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 2004; 2006; 2008-2009.

From: Mardan

Captaincy Style: Temperamental.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Resigned the captaincy after claiming that a group of players were not cooperating with him.

Captaincy Peaks: Won the 2009 T-20 World Cup.

Captaincy Record: 9 Tests. 1 Won; 3 Lost; 5 Drawn. 21 ODIs. 8 Won; 13 Lost. 8 T20. 5 Won. 3 Lost.

Muhammad Yousaf ★

Right-Handed-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 2005; 2009-2010

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Insipid; defensive; uninspiring.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was captain during the 2009-10 series against Australia when some of his players were alleged to have ‘thrown away a Test match.’

Approached the NZ captain Denial Vettori during 2009 tour of NZ and asked him if he would be willing to listen to a religious sermon. Vettori politely declined.

Captaincy Peaks: None.

Captaincy Record: 9 Tests. 2 Won; 6 Lost; 1 Drawn. 8 ODIs. 2 Won; 6 Lost. 0 T20. 0 Won. 0 Lost.

Shahid Afridi ★ ★

All-Rounder. Right-Handed-Batsman; Right-Arm-leg-Spin-Bowler

Captaincy Tenure: 2009; 2013-15.

From: Khybar Tribal Areas.

Captaincy Style: Expressive/emotive; mercurial; impulsive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was suspended for ball-tampering during an ODI against Australia in 2009.

Resigned Test captaincy in the middle of a series against Australia in 2010.

Often clashed with coach, Waqar Younis.

Captaincy Peaks: Leading a weary Pakistan side into the semi-finals of the 2012 World Cup.

Captaincy Record: 1 Tests. 0 Won; 1 Lost; 0 Drawn. 38 ODIs. 19 Won; 18 Lost. 30 T20. 15 Won. 15 Lost.

Salman Butt ★

Left-Handed Batsman.

Captaincy Tenure: 2010

From: Lahore

Captaincy Style: Secretive.

Unique Tactic: None.

Controversies: Was handed a seven-year-ban and a jail term for ‘spot-fixing’ in a Test against England in 2010.

Captaincy Peaks: Winning a close Test against a strong Australian side in 2010.

Captaincy Record: 5 Tests. 2 Won; 3 Lost; 0 Drawn. 0 ODIs. 0 Won; 0 Lost. 0 T20. 0 Won. 0 Lost.

Misbah-ul-Haq ★ ★ ★ ★

Right-Handed-Batsman

Captaincy Tenure: 2011-2016

From: Mianwali

Captaincy Style: Diplomatic; understated; defensive; calm.

Unique Tactic: Tries to set fields and bowling lines to dry out the runs and consequently, ‘buy a wicket.’

Controversies: None.

Captaincy Peaks: Defeated England 3-0 in 2012.

Chased down over 300 in the last three sessions of the Test against Sri Lanka to square the series in 2014.

Defeated Australia 2-0 in 2015.

Squared the series against England in 2016 after being 2-1 behind.

Led Pakistan to the No: 1 spot in international Test rankings in late 2016.

Introduced Saeed Ajmal and Yasir Shah.

Captaincy Record: 52 Tests. 24 Won; 17 Lost; 11 Drawn. 87 ODIs. 45 Won; 39 Lost. 8 T20. 6 Won. 2 Lost.

With his ace spinner Yasir Shah.
With his ace spinner Yasir Shah.

The caption of the second photo had stated that Kardar was in the photo, leading the national team. Kardar is, in fact, not in the photo. The error has been corrected.