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Who will be the captain?

Published Mar 17, 2010 06:05pm


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Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme is listed in Guinness Book of Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time. It has been recognised for its imaginative stories and creative low-budget special effects during its original run.

Perhaps the Guinness Book of Records has no idea that we have had our own unofficial longest-running show which we call “Captain Who?” produced by the PCB. The only difference is that it is not science fiction, but a reality show (though for the rest of the world the saga of the Pakistani cricket captaincy is in the realm of science fiction).

Fourteen cricketers have captained Pakistan in the last 17 years, some of them (Wasim Akram, Rashid Latif, Younis Khan), captaining more than once in their career.  Mohammad Yousuf did lead Pakistan in two Tests in 2004, but that was as vice captain when skipper Inzamam sat out these matches in Australia.

As if four captains tried in last two years has not been enough, we now have four candidates for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, three of whom will be first-time captains if chosen. Only one of them, Salman Butt, has captained Pakistan at the Under 19 level, but all of the candidates have captained their regional sides over the last few years.

I have already stated my reasons for thinking that Abdul Razzaq is the front runner. Still, the PCB chairman has gone for a smoke screen strategy and met with the four candidates as if he has yet to decide. The idea is to get to Razzaq through this process so that it appears a well-thought out decision during which Afridi was given another hearing as well.

Whatever has been said in that closed-door meeting is not known, but one newspaper has reported that Afridi has supported Razzaq as a choice if he is not chosen himself owing to a six-month probation. Obviously, something has been said to Afridi to prompt this statement (if the newspaper story is true) to show that Razzaq is a consensus candidate.

Meanwhile, I’d like to analyse the four candidates on merit. Let's look at their strengths and weaknesses and then readers can weigh in on who they think should be captain.

Shahid Afridi

The captain in T20 until he was brushed off for the 'Toothgate’ scandal, he deserves the position on merit. He has the personality traits of fearlessness, motivating power, aggressiveness, energy and enthusiasm for the job. Over the last year and a half he has curbed his hara-kiri style for more selective strokeplay, considering what was once unimaginable with him—rotating the strike.

But it is the resurgence in his bowling that has propelled him as one of the most difficult bowlers to score off. Top spinners and faster deliveries are the major weapons in his armory. His fielding, especially off his own bowling, is up there with the best. He therefore has what it takes to make the ideal captain: leadership traits and current form with both bat and ball.

His weaknesses are that he is emotional, can lose control in front of media, and still plays too flamboyantly for a captain. He would be my choice for the captaincy, bite or no bite.

Abdul Razzaq

He has previous experience of captaining in the T20 format, having led the Lahore Lions to the final a couple of years back. He has the quiet resolve that can keep his focus on the game, has been bowling and batting well, and is a good finisher (but only on his day.

But he too has weaknesses. He takes omission badly, especially when justified, which shows immaturity and lack of self analysis. He has basically one boundary scoring shot that lands between, or goes over, long off and square leg. He has difficulty scoring when pitched short outside off stump at waist to shoulder height.  He is also a loner on tours, is unfit most of the time, and his teammates will not look upon him with the same respect as a leader as they have for his cricket abilities.

Salman Butt

He has captaincy potential in a long run, but only for Test matches. That said, he has to bat more consistently to be considered if merit is a factor, and not just the PCB Chairman’s whim. Butt has guts and a cheerful demeanour both on and off the field, and he's more mature than any player in his age group. Importantly, he’s never been embroiled in any controversy of his own making. He batted solidly in the Test matches in Australia, which is always a test for any opener. Among his teammates since his debut in 2003, he remains the most composed and presentable in front of the media.

His weaknesses include constant swishing outside the off stump, lack of footwork against spinners, and irresponsible shot selection when well set. He has also been known to bat selfishly, especially in the limited over formats during which he often lets down his team at the expense of his personal glory. Moreover, Butt is still a shaky fielder and can be seen to be a lazy runner who will rarely dive.


Misbah should never have been dropped after his performance in ODIs against Australia in 2002 in Nairobi. His resurgence in 2007 proved what Pakistan had missed in the intervening years: his cool-headed batting, especially under pressure, matches Yousuf’s temperament. An orthodox batsman with reasonable technique, Misbah explodes suddenly and takes bowlers by surprise. He’s one of the safest catchers close up.

His weaknesses are to the shorter ball, but notwithstanding his form over the last year, he has tackled all bowling with prudence.

I would have opted for him as captain once Inzamam-ul-Haq retired and Younis was not interested in the captaincy. He is a great analyst of the game and has led Faisalabad and his department with success. More importantly, he stands tall among his teammates as a go-to man, boasting the steely steadfastness of a Steve Waugh.

So, in my opinion, if Afridi is not selected as captain, the post should go to Misbah. What do you think, people?

Sohaib Alvi has been a cricket writer since 1979, and has edited The Cricketer International (UK) Asian Edition. He also has 25 years’ top management experience and now works as a strategic and marketing consultant.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (152) Closed

SJ Mar 17, 2010 01:18pm
I sincerely hope that Misbah is named as Captain, but then this is PCB you are talking about, so you never know.
jawaid zuberi Mar 17, 2010 01:24pm
I think Afridi is the ideal choice being aggressive in field which is a must for T20 captain, second choice is Razzak as I don't think Misbah should be in the team if you have seen his performance lately.
Mhassan Mar 17, 2010 01:25pm
Agreed. Misbah for Captain.
Khalid Ahmed Mar 17, 2010 01:29pm
Undisputed amongst the team, under these circumstances the 3 who will not get it will feel hard pressed to work with whoever does. We must remember that the level of education among our players is low; this leads to a lack of tolerance, jealousy and vindictiveness (exp: Waseem & Waqar, Younis & Yousuf, Inzi & Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and everyone, Shoaib Malik and everyone ). My expectations have dropped to an all time low. Whichever way it goes we are in trouble.
Arshad Mar 17, 2010 01:30pm
I think Afridi is the man, he has all the qualities of a captain and above all he has a street fighter mentality, our last great captain was Miandad (who had a better win loss ratio then THE Khan). Afridi is also one of the lads, and he will be a good mentor for some of our under 19s coming through the ranks. Miandad or Anwar should be there as batting coaches, as Wikki bhai has nothing to offer in that dept. Yes Afridi has his shortcomings, but let he who has not sinned, cast the first stone!
Umer Saleem Mar 17, 2010 01:44pm
Misbah is totally out of form and seems to have lost composure and mental strength in last few seasons. He has been duly dropped several times due to poor form. He has to prove himself as a reliable batsman in next few seasons before one can consider him for captaincy! I think Afridi is the most reasonable choice and Razzaq would be second best.
hassan khan Mar 17, 2010 01:48pm
I think the position should go to Salman Butt. Afridi is a good captain but like you said is too emotional just like Younis khan and a captain can never be emotional and always has to be cool headed . Salman butt is a mature cricketer he has never had any controversies and he knows not to fight with senior players like Yousuf I think he has a good cricketing brain and you should make him captain with Afridi as avice captain.
Anees Mar 17, 2010 01:52pm
haseeb talal khan Mar 17, 2010 01:58pm
Salam, In my opinion, Shahid Afridi is the only choice, since he is aggressive and T20 format suits him for his style of captaincy, he is aggressive on the field and well respected among the team mates, and team generally looks good. He is a leader who knows how to motivate the guys by putting himself as an example in front of them on the field. Let him be the captain and you will see a certain change among the guys, because he has the potential and strength to take Pakistan on top. Butt in my opinion should have not been included in T20 side because of the kind of technique he possesses, he should only be considered for test and ODI's. Abdul Razzaq needs time because of his immaturity and attitude to become captain. Misbah ul Haq is not even the permanent member of the side, and in my view only left 2 years of cricket with him. So Afridi is the only choice, and he deserves to be a captain....
Aimun Mar 17, 2010 02:11pm
Misbah is old and doesn't have a future ahead of him, Razzaq would be better, but nobody is better than Afridi.
JustAFan Mar 17, 2010 02:13pm
Just a throw up, why is Umer Gul not an option. He is the most consistent in this format. Plays with passion and seriousness and is experinced. After Afridi, I would like him to be a captain.
Tim Goswell Mar 17, 2010 02:17pm
I think you're missing the picture completely. What merit do you speak of? Razzaq and Afridi average less than 30 in t-20 and 1-days with the bat, making them average players. If merit is the criteria for captaincy then these two don't cut it. Afridi's bowling in t-20 is brilliant but not enough to give him the captaincy, while for his bowling Razzaq doesn't even make the final 11. I don't understand why PCB or you for that matter don't have a longer term view of things. We need a 5 year plan where a younger captain can stay on for the next 5 years and build a team around him. just like G. Smith did for South Africa. misbah is too old to have a longer term stay in the team while butt is the only contender that has a decent (not great) average (imran khan was also an awful runner between the wickets). he is also the only 'youngster' that seems to have the sense to know what is required in game of cricket, unlike imran nazir, farhat, akmal, asif etc. this belief that a captain must be old so others around him can call him bhai jan is ridiculous and our team and culture is guilty of this. hell with this seniority culture and make butt the captain for the next 5 years.
osama Mar 17, 2010 02:28pm
I think it should be Afridi, If not Afridi.. it should be Butt.. Even Razzaq is okay.. I wouldn't mind him being the captain.. but he only shines in a few innings and isn't very consistent. Butt is young and has time for improvement, maybe he'll might get rid himself of that selfishness you mentioned. I don't want Misbah to be the captain because he is old.
Irfan Jaffry Mar 17, 2010 02:31pm
Well and accurately analysed. Afridi should be given the role. But if his own actions prevents him from having that, then Misbah is a better choice as compared to both Razzaq and Salman. The latter does not even have a guaranteed place in the starting lineup. We already had to pay by naming him vice captain in one of the early World T20s when he was not been able to give quick, crisp starts but had to be played because he was a vice captain. PCB should not repeat that mistake again. Razzaq on the other hand is kind of 9 to 5 government employee. Hard to believe that he will bring any imaginative thinking to his captaincy if encountered with tricky situations on and off the field.
Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad Mar 17, 2010 02:35pm
I WAS a big admirer of Afridi, not as a batsman but, as a dynamic leader. However, there is no forgiveness, for a person bringing disrepute to the Nation as well as, the game. In my opinion, such persons needs to be dumped into the dust bin of the history, to bite the dust forever. Salman Butt is not a cricketer of international level calibre. To give him the leadership of the cricket team on the basis of his so called good English is like trying to kill a bird with a gun without bullet. Mr. Misbah ul Haq, was never considered a player worth fit for selection in the national team in his youth. And when he was given the chance to perform in the Ist T20 world cup, he showed what a poor sense of judgement he has by that shot, which was equal to a self goal in football. No sir, he is not a captain material. Regarding Abdul Razzaq, it is high time he is elevated as captain for all the three forms of the Pakistan team. He is mature, experienced, cool and respected by the team members and the followers of the game, all around the world. Moreover, he can be DYNAMITE, if required. Good luck Mr. Abdul Razzaq.
imran ali Mar 17, 2010 02:35pm
Abdul Razzaq is a key player in the line up but does not seem to inspire much confidence in the filed as a tactician and seems rarely interested in the proceedings unless batting or bowling. Further, he is a very ordinary fielder and will be a liability close to the wicket where a captain should be placed. Salman's game is not fully developed yet and other than doing fairly well in Australia in the last two series (in test matches) and in ODIs against India he has not fully realised his potential. He is definitely not a T20 certainty in the line up. Misbah's form is the real concern presently otherwise his claim to captaincy is superior to all: he is intelligent, calm and sufficiently experience to command respect.
Mohd. Sharif Sindiwala Mar 17, 2010 02:44pm
In my opinion, Pakistan should import a captain from either Australia or Saudi Arabia.
Iqbal, Mohammad Mar 18, 2010 09:24am
I agree 100% with Wasim, just talking to players after every ball and giving an impression that I am very cool does not come under the category of "Leadership Skills" when from inside you are so tense that just to win a match you start biting the ball in front of 26 cameras!!!! I would never vote for Afridi as he has never been predictible and what about his performance, can we ever rely on him that he would provide us the finish we need in crucial games? My vote would definitely go for Razzaq as he has time and again proved that he is a good finisher, good listener and has a very good knowledge of the game. Remains cool and composed and do not "Show Off" like Afridi. Misbah and Salman do not deserve a place in T20 based on their recent performances.
Saqib Khan Mar 17, 2010 02:50pm
I agree Shoaib, if its not Afridi it should be Misbah. He has shown real character by batting himself back into form after being dropped from the national side. He has definetly earned my respect there. Afridi can learn from him in taking first class cricket seriously.
Babar Khan Mar 17, 2010 03:06pm
Problem with Pakistan cricket is consistency. A player would play one good inning and he can easily play four five years on the basis of that inning. Inzmam played well in first world cup and then he played another three in which he averaged 22. Misbah played well in first twenty twenty and he has never performed well after that. Now he is ultimate choice. What a joke. He does not deserve his spot in the team and you want him to be a captain. Afridi is a good captain but you don't know what he is going to do during the game. If Razaq can captain like Afridi he should be the one as he has performed well in most games he played for Pakistan.
parveez shafi Mar 17, 2010 03:31pm
I agree , please not Razzaq, nice guy, but too quite, will not be able to motivate other players. Not Butt, like you said sefish, can not field can not catch, and will not make runs in UK. Misbah-Ul Haq if not Afridi, but will he be able to carry the team with him. May be chose some one else, may be someone new, like the English did when they picked Braley, when Bottham had failed as a captain in the Ashes series. Who ever they chose give him 100% backing, and let all players know that if they will give any trouble, they will be out for good. If there is any disagreement between the players the management should be told. And for God sake pick the right back room staff, and not someone uncle, or brother related to the government etc. BUT FOR ME IT HAS TO BE AFRIDI, HE IS THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB.
shiraz Mar 17, 2010 03:45pm
I agree that Misbah should be the captain. I dont think Afridi is mature enough to be a captain. I know he is agressive but that does not mean to shut your mind off and than play. Captains make strategies and play accordingly but Afridi is just a hitter who forgets all the strategies as soon as he enters the ground to bat. A guy who can not control his emotions should not be a captain. He himself said on a TV show about why he plays wild shots is because when he enters the ground the public pumps him up and he starts hitting the ball. How can you be a captain if some one like Irfan Pathan stares you go out and hit the ball wildly. I think I made my points. Afridi is a good player but does not have the nerves to be a captain... so Misbah my vote is with you in all 3 formats at least for now.
Asif Bhatti Mar 17, 2010 03:46pm
Leaders are born NOT made. Afridi is my man for the job. I'll give 2nd place to Misbah and then comes Razzaq. Butt, well lets just not even talk about him.
Abir Mar 17, 2010 03:47pm
How long Misbah or Razzaq will play for? my candidate is Salman butt, he is well presented, goes about his business more often than not when it comes to his individual performance, the only guy to show some resistance in Australia, We have to look for a long term solution rather than just looking for captains series by series..
Gul Barkat Mar 17, 2010 04:03pm
It does not matter who is the captain now. I believe all of the four have potential but PCB management needs to be replaced with some talented people. They have failed; not the players! huh bold? yeah but just try it if you need a long term solution.
Amjid Mar 17, 2010 04:22pm
Very nice analysis, I agree with Sohaib Alvi on most of his points and I would also vote for Afridi.
Adam Khan Mar 17, 2010 04:37pm
Shahid Afridi Because he is best in lot in form of T20 cricket. Abdul Razzaq also is a good contender, but he has dull type of an approach. If you ask me, Salman Butt and Misbah-ul-Haq have no place in the side. Both players consume too many deliveries to settle down.
Shoaib Mar 17, 2010 05:22pm
My vote is for Shahid khan Afridi. He is the only one who can lead the team!
Wasim Mar 17, 2010 05:23pm
What is aggressiveness? Is it the only leadership trait required in a captain? What about match awareness, sense of responsibility, being a role model, being tenacious, being a good finisher, capable of drawing and implementing strategies, calmness and maturity and above all remaining sane in tense situations. How many of the above characteristics Afridi possess as a player? No doubt Afridi tries his best to look extremely busy in the field and tries to pass on his free advice to fellow players after every ball and tries to motivate them but charity begins at home, for a change wouldn't it be nice if he tries to motivate himself once in a while and listen to the advice of others and stays on the wicket for longer than five overs. Just look at the RBS t20 finals, had he stayed on the wicket for just two more overs his team could have won the match easily but his inability to remain calm and his lack of match awareness is his biggest flaw, I don't think he can be a good leader. I do agree with you that Razzaq has fitness issues but I do not agree with you that he has only one boundary scoring shot, thats not true. By loner I presume you meant a player who doesn't involves himself in groupism. Good then we should find a few more loner players like him who do not get involved in dirty politics and just deliver their 100% for the team.
Ammar Mar 17, 2010 05:30pm
Afridi for sure! none of the others has even justified a permanent spot in the team.
zia Mar 17, 2010 05:38pm
I would rather go for the last mentioned (Misbah). He is an intelligent cricketer and has proved his form off late, He is composed and cool as you mentioned and most importantly a man who performs under pressure much better than any person in the squad. Lets try this champ who has one more strength behind him as he is from same area which gave this world a cricket legend (Imran Khan), thus ensuring the leadership traits.
Fahad Hafeez Mar 18, 2010 08:12am
It would be the sad demise of Pakistani Cricket if we see the likes of Salman Butt being made captain. For a person who, in MY OPINION, does not even deserve a place in the national team (and nothing personal against him) it is quite suprising to see him even being considered. Having an average of on 31 (Test) and 37 (ODI), neither of which are impressive, he most importantly lacks the consistency with the bat and with his recent slide in feilding form, I really would like to know how would he lift the team spirits. It is indeed worth praising that over 7 years he has managed to keep his books clean of any wrong-doing but that is not all good when you are being enilsted for a potential captaincy role. Its going to be worth asking these questions: 1) With his recent form and batting incosistency, will the players really be happy being lead by him. Keeping in mind the recent bitterness the players have been carrying, will Butt's book remaing clean. 2) Can he stand up for himself / his views? Remember, having a saint for a captain is not necessarily good. We need someone who can self impose, not someone who may end up being a dummy captain and tossed around. 3) In line with the above point, does he have a voice in the dressing room? If he has spent 7 years without tinting his record in the dressing room, is it because he has hardly meddled around in team matters? All in all, having the likes of Razzaq, Misbah and Afridi on this list of potentials, Salman Butt is a mis-fit. I could argue against Razzaq and Misbah as well, leaving with Afridi being my first and only valid choise, but then those are open ended opinions, arguments against which I would not see as being wrong. But Salman Butt for sure is something I am sure we should accept as being the wrong choise!
Saif Khan Mar 17, 2010 05:56pm
I think if Misbah is not selected then Afridi should be made the captain the reason being that Afridi is very unpredictable and emotional while PCB would need someone like Misbah who could be told what is expected of him, who could devise a game-plan and is expected to follow that plan. Afridi seems more like spur-of-the-moment kind of guy -- you couldn't expect him to come up with a strategy and even if he does then what are the chances that he will follow his own strategy ??
ammar ahmad Mar 17, 2010 05:56pm
Shahid Afridi all the way! Second Choice is Razzaq.
Amad Uddin Mar 17, 2010 05:57pm
If Afridi is not selected, then they should select Afridi! There is no one like him in T20 and One Day. Maybe he is good for test matches as well as a bowler and a number 7 batsman. And for Test Matches, Salman Butt. As you said he has been the best batsman in the test matches and is also presentable to the media. Misbah Ul Haq is too old cricket let alone captainship. Razzaq, nopes, sorry.
morfi Mar 17, 2010 06:00pm
Thanks for a good analysis Sohaib. I completely agree with your bottom line. Your analyses of the players, particularly their weaknesses, seem to focus more on their playing abilities than their captaining abilities. However, I agree on most things. Of the 4, Razzaq would make an automatic choice for the playing 11, as would Afridi, but Razzaq would be my last choice for captain. Solely because he is too reserved and at times childlike immature to be a leader. Butt, despite his guts may not even make the first 11 automatically - and has done nothing to command the respect that a leader should have. Afridi and then Misbah stand out for me.
shahood Mar 17, 2010 06:09pm
If Shahid Afridi is not chosen for captain then Abul Razzak is a best candidate for this post. I am surprised Salman butt is included in T20 world cup team. Pakistan gave him many chances what he prove so far less then 30 averages in test matches. I think Pakistan board should review his average in all formats of the game. Misbah totally done, he should be retiring from test cricket. Next year we have world cup do you think he will survive?
Usman Shahid Mar 18, 2010 08:16am
I think Abdul Razzak Should be the captain of Pakistani CRicket team as he is the only guy out of the above 4 who deserved to be playing in all formats of the game. He knows batting as well as bowling. He is a match winner. He has controlled emotions and decent personality. THough he dont look like a leader now but if he will be given the post I hope he will prove his worth. he has played with the top bowlers of the world i.e. Two W's. Which is a big plus. I am expecting him to be the captain since Wasim & Waqar was pushed out of the team unfortunately. I hope PCB goes right this time & dont make a captain which dont deserve his own place in the team at most of the times. If any one in PCB listening to me, give my comments some consideration, I am also a current cricketer in Perth (AU) previously played in UK & Pakistan. May be if you dont want A.R to be the captain. Better look out for players like me i.e. new talent rather than ...
Mohammed Amdani Mar 17, 2010 06:16pm
I think you are absolutely right. I think Afrdi is our first choice for T20 and ODI format and Misbah should be made captain of the test side. Obviously if for some reason, Afrdi is not an option then Misbah should be the captain for all the three formats. We need a good players but more than that we need a good steady, level headed and problem solving captain in our team.
Nadeem Ahmed Mar 17, 2010 06:18pm
Afridi is the best choice. Whatever he did in Austrailia was a silly mistake. He already got enough of it. We should forget it and move on. Its enough, Razaq is in playing eleven, let him consolidate his position first. Misbah and Butt should not be even in the team.
Naveed Khan Mar 17, 2010 06:23pm
I think PCB should go with Afridi. Another choice would be too disruptive. Pakistan is after all the defending champion and any change would be too costly. Please win for Pakistan. After the debacle in Hockey, We need something to celebrate.
Omar Sadiq Mar 17, 2010 06:32pm
Hi choice for the captaincy for T20 and ODI should be none other then Shahid Afridi. His non-consistant yet match winning performances on numerous occasions for Pakistan should merit his retaining the captaincy for these 2 formats atleast. Misbah or Razzaq can be named vice captain. Since PCB, in its correct decision of cleaning up the house, is trying to set an example, they should think in the long run and appoint Afridi captain. He still has some 6-8 years of cricket left in him to perform with top honors for Pakistan. Now, if PCB decides to appoint Salman Butt as captain, one can only imagine the resentment and below par performances by the seniors at some stage of the game to bring the credentials of Butt down and this will only end up harming the sport for Pakistan. God bless the nation but not the people destroying it! Ameen!
Hassan Mar 17, 2010 06:43pm
Sohaib, I like your well thought out articles but I think I partially disagree when you say to make Misbah a captain. He is too old to be a captain and I think because of him being in and out of the team, players don't look up-to him. I feel that Pakistan has to take the route of playing younger players more often (Fawad Alam never gets the true chance he deserves at number 3). If it were to me, I would pick a young captain just like what South Africa did and that would be a true proof that there is no more player power in play. I agree with you on making Afridi a captain. He is the best Pakistan has got in this format and he knows how to bring out the best in his team-mates. If he can't be made a captain then we should stick with Razzaq. To me, he is the most under rated player of our time. He bats at 7 or 8 and in most cases really does well. I think PCB was wrong to drop him back in 2007 and they would be wrong now to sideline a player who is keen to help Pakistan win. First Choice: Captain: Afridi, VC: Razzaq Second Choice: Captain: Razzaq, VC: Fawad Alam
Saad Mar 17, 2010 06:53pm
Well what a sorry state of affairs for our country and cricket. Neither we have a finance minister nor a cricket captain for T20. Yes I would agree with the writer that Misbah is a better choice. Failure or success are part of game however someone like Misbah who appears to be mature and persistent should be give the task to lead. Lets hope he will deliver the goods.
jkpakitani Mar 17, 2010 07:15pm
Hopefully this time, we make the decision based on Merit.
Tariq Mirza Mar 17, 2010 07:19pm
It is a disappointed to say that the Pakistani cricket at the current moment is due to the fact that PCB honest and assertive leadership is missing. Lack of direction and drive are some of the key factors contributing the demise of our team. It requires complete re-vamp of the whole system. In regards to the captaincy for 20-20, Misbah will be the right choice provided he is backed by all the players.
abdullah Mar 17, 2010 07:32pm
Very good analysis, you made me speechless. Afridi is the best choice from my point of view as well. If Pakistan wants to defend the cup they have to select Afridi. ICC has done what he deserves. Its not a big deal English players caught on camera while ashes and nothing happened to them. I can't understand why we Pakistanis take everything so personal.
Hassan Mar 17, 2010 07:40pm
In my View Misbah is the Best Choice
Asrar Mar 17, 2010 07:50pm
Nice analysis Sohaib. I have reservations regarding Salman Butt candidacy for captaincy. First of all, he is not a T20 player. He played in the first few matches of first T20 world cup but later dropped due to incompetency in T20 format. So, he should not be in T20 squad and Imran Nazir should replace him. Secondly, I always feel that cricket analysts give biased comments about Salman especially for T20 format. They talk more about this communication & character skills then cricketing talent. For instance, you haven't commented on his T20 skills and has mentioned traits required for one day and test cricket. So, I won't be surprised if he does not play matches in this world cup as well when not selected as a captain. Regarding captaincy, I think Afridi should be given the chance as he is the only currently player having leadership qualities along with good form in batting, bowling and fielding. He is one of the few players, in current squad, who will fight to the last ball to win the match for their country. I hope PCB realize this and should give him another chance. With Afridi as a captain, I am hopeful that Pakistan can go the finals.
Nasir Habib Mar 17, 2010 08:02pm
I agree with you. It's Afridi or Misbah. However, Salman should be considered for test matches and must be given opportunity.
Tariq Majeed Mar 17, 2010 08:20pm
Develop a test for the position ofcaptain, the most skillful testing, beside sports, media relations, all that goes with it. Publish the criteria .... and choose in from everyone!
Zulfiqar Mar 17, 2010 08:22pm
Misbah should be a captain even if Afridi is in the side ! He commands respect within the team from every player. He gets along well with Younis, Yousuf, Afridi and Razzaq. Surely he cannot do much worse as captain, than what we've seen in the last year or so...
feroz usa Mar 17, 2010 08:24pm
I agree with you but in my opinion first choice have to be Afridi because this time Pakistani team needs captain like Afridi, he have that ability to take Pakistan on top. He is aggressive and he encourage all players. And if not him then Razzaq because he is a cool minded cricketer. GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN
Tariq Majeed Mar 17, 2010 08:29pm
Actually the selection should be like this: Based on the skill [individual] PCB should put together a team of candidates. later it should go through a session of say 'pakistani idol' type where those who wants to watch at grounds [fans ] have a chance to their say.... this would increase viewweship of one day matches ...
Tanveer Khan Mar 17, 2010 08:40pm
Misbah.. Adfridi is too temperamental and will crack under pressure..
Zabihullah Mar 17, 2010 08:43pm
I want Afridi for all three formats!
hafeez khattak Mar 17, 2010 08:50pm
Nice comments. I think Afridi is the best choice, as he has already proved to be a good t20 captain and also more importantly he has control over team and as a senior captaincy deserves him Razaaq is not a bad choice but he is new to team after coming back from ICL Salman is not that perfect for t20 format and Misbah is too old to lead so we have only choice Afridi.
Haseeb Mar 17, 2010 09:14pm
I second it.
Ali Mar 17, 2010 09:36pm
1) Fawad Alam 2) Mohammad Aamer 3) Umar Akmal
umair Mar 17, 2010 09:42pm
Afridi should not be considered because of his immature behavior(Faisalabad pitch v England, ball biting, his furious and out of control anger on the field). Misbahulhaq, NOT, because he is getting old and he hasn't been consistent with his performance (no doubt he should be considered for the team since Yousuf Younis are out). we can take a chance on Abdul Razzaq because he is an all rounder and he has a lot of experience under his belt. Salman Butt has never impressed me as a batsman. still after inconsistent performance we keep him in the team. We should still keep him, why not, but not until we find another lefty opener. But not a captain. At least not now, Vice captain ? maybe.
jibran qasmi Mar 17, 2010 09:44pm
I really think that Razaq should be given a chance at captaincy with Salman as his deputy, don't even think about getting Afridi a chance for a bit as we cannot afford to loose our captain just before the world cup in 2011.
Sunny Mar 17, 2010 10:10pm
Afridi is the only choice. Sulman butt is too junior to be captain plus he doesn't hold a spot in the team especially for t20 format, and his selection for one day and test is shaky as well because of his inconsistent form. Misbah also doesn't have a spot in the team for any format of the game, think future, think 5 years. Can he lead for 5 years...he is already 35 or 36. Razzaq is not a good leader. If Pakistan wants its cricket back and want it to flourish with victories, Afridi should be made Captain. Any other captain would fail in few months.
Ahsan Ikram Mar 17, 2010 10:41pm
Amazing selection of words for Butt when you say "Chairman's whim" :-) all in all nice article although its a shame if Salman Butt is even considered for the team.
Muhammedh Mar 17, 2010 11:30pm
By making other than AFRIDI a captain, Pakistan is going to go further astray, mean it. Misbah will retire very soon, PAK needs a captain who can play for at least 5 years. Well Razaq or Butt are good options if AFRIDI is really banned by ICC or if he committed big sins. PCB just lift his bans and fines citing country needs him, this time only he excused but monitored.
ali Mar 17, 2010 11:54pm
Agree with you Shoaib, Mishbah if not Afridi.
desihungama Mar 18, 2010 12:45am
Sohaib! Though I generally agree with the theme of your article but I do not agree with some of your critique in players. First of all, does it really matter who the Top Joker is of this circus called Pakistan Cricket? I will not even discuss the PCB as it is utter disgust. There is no damn question who should be the next future captain. I, for one am in total support for Afridi's ball biting act. Anyone at that position in those circumstances, out of desperation would have done the same if glory is what you seek. If Razzaq has been a loner than he knows too well some of the garbage that is part of Team Pakistan and he is a loner as he does not want to associate himself with those elements. Remember, there was no bigger loner than Imran Khan though out of totally other reasons. Salman Butt is as genuine cricketer as you can get. You can't play Cricket if you are not selfish. You can't be good at Cricket if you are not selfish. Team work is for the middle order. An opener has to have that element in him or else he can't thrive. Don't you see how Yousaf's batting has given away for being too nice out there. Don't forget Miandad, Lara or Viv, most selfish players of their time. Tendulkar is the only exception. Misbah missed out. He totally lacks the concentration and commitment needed in the middle. What you truly need in captain is raw aggression and your next captain of future should be Mohammad Aamer. Some kids, you can tell are destined for glory.
Adeel Javed Mar 18, 2010 01:58am
To me, there is only one candidate for captaincy and that's Shahid Afridi ... in all three formats. Abdul Razzaq cannot even get into a test side. Was not even part of the team until recently and played only one innings of note over the last few months. It can only happen in Pakistan that such a player can even be in contention for captaincy! Salman Butt is not a T20 player. Period. Its mind boggling that someone who was not even part of the T20 squad over the last few series gets selected for the world cup. He needs to improve his own game first before even thinking of captaincy. Lack of quality openers in Pakistan has meant that a half decent opener in Salman Butt has managed to stick around / get back into the test team. Again, it can only happen in Pakistan that such a player could be considered for captaincy! Misbah-ul-Haq, right now, does not even deserve to get selected in any format. He did well for a certain period of time after making a come back in 2007 but that was it. Lately he even seemed lost at the crease ... unable to even rotate strike. Age seems to be catching up fast and with the likes of Naveed Yasin and co. making their mark, its only the "safe and conservative" approach of the new chief selector that has resulted in his selection. How can such a player be then considered for captaincy. To me, he should not even be part of the playing XI because I think someone like Hammad Azam will be a better bet instead. My playing XI will be: Mohammed Hafeez Kamran Akmal Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Hammad Azam Mohammed Aamir Umar Gul Mohammed Asif Saeed Ajmal If Ijaz Butt decides to have anyone other than Shahid Afridi, it will be yet another inexplicable decision from PCB.
Shujaat Siddique Mar 18, 2010 02:08am
I think I agree with Sohaib Alvi that Afridi should be selected as captain. No one is closed to Afridi in terms of talent so there is no second choice.
Ali Salar Mar 18, 2010 02:13am
Well Sohaib, I really wanted to read a line which was missing in the article that 'there is no deserving candidate for captaincy' but we have to be positive right. I mean Afridi who again gave Pakistan a bad name. Razzaq who choose ICL over Pak Team. Salman Butt who despite given so many chances have failed to perform in T20 and finally your favourite 'Misbah' who have committed himself not to catch form again and if made captain will further cause problems of grouping in Pakistan team. so where are we? To me it hardly counts who so ever will become the captain of this bunch.
Faheem Mar 18, 2010 02:39am
Eighty percent of our players are "GULLEE KAY KHILARI" whose body language during the games gives them away as a bunch of directionless novices who have no idea of the next moment. They lack self confidence and sense of purpose. Each seems to be playing an individual game with no sign of teamwork. The interesting fact is that they look uneducated at the very first sight barring a few. Real education is needed for anybody who wishes to represent himself on behalf of any purpose or result oriented end. How can an ignorant person analyse a situation and act in response unless his mind is open with knowledge for any demand for the cause? Pakistan cricket has to now look at the demand of the modern version of the game. The demand is for players of strong character acquired through proper education and training. The PCB should now start a program of building up talents by scouting for such talents from schools and colleges and providing them scholarships for higher education and at the same time providing them with excellent training facilities with the promise of great future in cricket. We have to look at the Indian cricket Team which is a Real Team in all respect. It is no longer a question of 'can we not' but a must do.
PK Wadhwani Mar 18, 2010 02:49am
I won't vote for Salman Butt as a captain and Shahid, while most deserving, may not get the post due to what happened in Australia and the fact that he is on probation. That leaves Razzaq and Misbah. Both are great players but Razzaq being a senior player and all rounder has edge over Misbah. Both of them are close contestants, but my vote would go to Razzaq; he has potential to lead the team and lead by example.
Imran Mar 18, 2010 04:17am
My question to you is whether it really would matter who captains Pakistan T-20s. The shortest form of the game allows much leeway in how the game is approached. Indeed that is the reason why Pakistan has had the level of success it has. What needs to be discussed is the long term future of the game in Pakistan. Pakistan needs to look at Australia when it comes to governance of sport. They would never have such problems down under primarily because of their domestic cricket set up. Players come up through the ranks having been tried and tested in domestic cricket. While there are exceptions, it is at that level where cricketers are given a chance to hone and prove their leadership skills. Hence when the opportunity arises they embrace it wholeheartedly. Lets focus on domestic cricket and in such a way that it attracts crowds, entertains and in the process develops cricketers who make the best of their talent. The fact that the same strategy would work for any other sport in Pakistan, goes without saying.
Kamran Zuberi Mar 18, 2010 04:33am
Favoured Option: Afridi as Captain, Salman Butt as Vice Captain. Second Option: Misbah as Captain, Afridi as Vice Captain. Afridi has shown great maturity in the T20 format of the game (Yes, the last T20 is an exception). His ability to motivate the team is amazing and he can really change the outcome of the match with his own cricketing abilities. Salman Butt needs the exposure of leading a side at the International level. He has captain the Pak U-19 teem, however dealing with the Big Boys is adifferent ball-game. He needs to be Afridi's deputy if he wishes to lead Pakistan in the future. Misbah is a mature candidate for the captaincy, even though his cricketing abilities are now close to retirement. He needs Afridi, however, as his deputy for the 'flare-factor'.
aa Mar 18, 2010 04:34am
I agree, Misbah should be the captian.
Ahmad Farhan Khalid Mar 18, 2010 04:36am
Yes, If Afridi is not selected (infact he should be selected he can win the worldcup for Pakistan), misbah is the 2nd best choice to be named as captain.
Rafay Mar 18, 2010 04:52am
I agree with you. Personally, I dont understand why people love Razzaq, hes not been consistent and playing regularly. Also his character is nowhere close to controlling a team with players like the Akmal brothers and Mohammad Aamer and Gul. I dont like Butt either. Used to like him but he has never been consistent. I dont mind people scoring 20 runs each time and getting out however he scores single digits in five matches and then one match scores well. Thats far too inconsistent. Also he will never be able to control our team with senior players with massive egos. Misbah is a great player. My personal favorite but hes lost confidence in himself. However he is mature and would be able to control the team well. So yes if not Afridi then Misbah. Afridi is the best choice we have. Personally he is what Pakistan need. Maybe hes stupid but thats because hes pathan. Even when facing defeat he takes all means to fight back. Never back down kind of commitment. Hes competitive and will always want to win. Also he knows he cant single handedly win a match and makes every player feel important. He comes from a time with Wasim and Waqar and he knows how to win. He knows strategies from the best team of our time. Also he is our wonder kid. We saw him since he was 16 and everyone loves him. Give the fans something they want. FOR ONCE!
Syed Naumanuddin Hassan Mar 18, 2010 04:56am
I do not believe on "ifs"! Afridi should captain the team even if the odds are stacked against him. The decision should've not been delayed on the first place. We're heading towards the world cup in a confused manner; which is a terrible approach! Afridi is respected by team-mates and his body language is aggressive on the field. Above all, captaincy adds a sense of responsibility in his game. Salman Butt as captain!?? How can a person who is unsure of a place in the team qualify for captaincy? I think the pressure of captaincy will not allow Abdul Razzaq to play freely. And we require plenty of thunderous shots off his bat! Lastly Misbah, well he is capable but the poor shot selection, international form and habit of not finishing matches doesn't serves him well. Marketing of potential candidates is provoking politics once again. So, in my opinion, Afiridi should be the captain and there shouldn't be any other candidates.
Mudassar Hussain Shah Mar 18, 2010 05:02am
Missbah doesn't even deserve a place in the team, why should he be appointed as captain. Secondly he himself is out of form it is going to be a such demotivating factor for the team if he himself doesn't perform. So after afridi, Razzak is second best option.
thenwhat Mar 18, 2010 05:04am
question is, who would want to be captain and have the spotlight shine on them? it would be a thankless job in the current environment
Fani the champ Mar 18, 2010 05:07am
The only one man who deserve to be a captain is Mr. Shahid khan afridi No one can replace him cz he is the champ he is the man who gave us the t20 world cup so dont u think about replacing him so in my mind no other place Give him a chance again Shahid bahi zindabad
Saquib Javaid Mar 18, 2010 05:19am
Afridi has brought the game into disrepute not just because of ball tampering but he has been caught jumping on the pitch, hitting spectators. So you wouldnt want to have a role model or guiding force, specially with such a young team, to be following such ways no matter how flamboyant, tactful or skillful a cricketer one may be. Misbah is 36, and you dont want to make captain on series basis that ok Misbah can lead in t2o worldcup and then we can have a change. I personally think we should look at younger options than Misbah who could continue for a reasonable duration. In my opinion Abdur Razzak should take over the mode of T20 captain, as Salman doesnt find a place in that squad. Where as Butt, should be captaining the One day and Test Side. The reason we have had fourteen cricketers captaining Pakistan in the last 17 years is that our cricket is never played as a team game. It is the ego of players playing for their own cause, which creates dis harmony and team unity is not reflected. PCB should also look to ensure that this aspect of cricket should not be ignored. Sincerely, Saquib Javaid
Omer Mar 18, 2010 05:22am
I go with Shoaib, Afridi should be the first choice, if not Misbah is the next best option. these two can only handle the pressure of being Captain, all media and other stuff.
M.Aftab Rehmat Mar 18, 2010 05:24am
Afridi is the best option for captaincy because he is the only player who does well in captaincy while all other players like butt,misbah become defensive in captaincy.So Afridi must lead the team in order to succesfully defend T20 tiltle and the players like Salman Butt should never be in T20 team.
waseem Mar 18, 2010 05:31am
i think afridi is best choice
Arsalan Mar 18, 2010 05:31am
I would agree with mr. shoaib alvi that afridi has got all the potential in the world to lead the side with great force and vigour but if he's not ready to take on the job right away, Misbah should be given the chance but then again you would have to ask yourself whether the other teammates going to support him the same way as they do to afridi, Misbah on many occasions have been found guilty of being lazy and not making aggressive decision at crucial times, it was all noted during the asia cup held in pakistan few years back, and then you are not quite sure how long can he go in his future to be the captain of pakistan.
Salman Rizvi Mar 18, 2010 05:33am
Good Analysis! I would go for Shahid Afridi as he is the only ONE who has leadership qualities and can revamp this Pakistani team and eventually Pakistan cricket. Yes he has short comings which are mentioned but he has been punished twice for the same and it should now be considered as over. We should now seriously think of our game & give due credit to one who deserves and can bring laurel to Pakistan, which for the fact is only Shahid Khan Afridi .. Boom Boom MUST go on to lead!
Muhammad Mar 18, 2010 05:36am
I completely agree with your opinion, either Afridi or Misbah.
Ali Mansoor Mar 18, 2010 05:45am
Razzaq is supposed to be the captain as he has no aligation on him and he deserves that grade too
Ali Mansoor Mar 18, 2010 05:46am
Misbah no way i mean he isn`t a good batsman n thinking of making him a captain,don`t even think about it
mehnaz Mar 18, 2010 05:48am
I think of the four, Afridi is definitely the foremost choice. The toothgate incident may have tarnished his reputation, but the effect that he can have on the opposition can and should not be ignored. Personally, I think he has grown over the years, and should be given the opportunity to find the right balance when it comes to being fearless and risk taking.
Taimur ijaz Mar 18, 2010 06:10am
The best choice for captaincy in such turbulent time would be Shahid Afridi as he was the most apparent heir to the throne after Youus announced his retirement in 2009. Shahid's personality provides the team with attacking approach that they need at this time to overcome all the negative things that have happened in Pakistan cricket ever since the Australian tour ended. Although people would argue that his ball biting incident has tarnished the image of the country and how can someone who has been involved in such an act be asked to captain the national team but my argument to that would be that there has been cases in the past where players have breached the code of conduct but have still lead positions of responsibility and moreover he has already been punished twice for one act and there is no law in the world that states that any one person can be punished for the same breach over and over again.
Hassan Rizvi Mar 18, 2010 07:46am
Shahid afridi is mostly everybody
Shabbir Mar 18, 2010 06:12am
Yes, Afridi is the best option in my opinion and his punishment was too harsh. And if not chosen then Abdul Razzaq is a better option. I think Salman butt has not good enough to be in the team as a player, after giving so many chances in the team he never developed himself as a confident opening batsman always shaky when comes in front of good bowlers, no footwork. Occasional he plays well and that isn't good enough for an opener. Misbah is out of form so in my opinion he has no place as well pick some young talent. Big names does not matter good forms matters more. So if not Afridi then Razzaq maybe is a better option among the others.
P. Siddiqui Mar 18, 2010 06:18am
Afridi - He performs at random. Never consistent or responsible. He is too childish and emotional. With all his abilities and charm remains to be an over rated player. Making him captain now or in fuutre is like rewarding a criminal with his crime being ball biting and pitch invasion in front of the whole world. How could one be so foolish. He should be banned for life to play for Pakistan Salman - has qualities as you said but he has not qualified be a regular player. Has been dropped so often from the team for lack of performance. Not be made a captain until he grows to make a permanent place in team Misbah - a lost cause. Have not been able to make a permanent place in team. He is too old and his performance leaves much to be desired. He should be dropped from team for ever and young talent be given chance. Razzak - Only viable candidate, still young, an all rounder, won matches for Pak. he should be given a chance and then groomed with professional guidance. We should drop all failed players (Imran Farhan, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Misbah, Kamran) and old players like Yousaf, Younis, Rana, Rao, etc. Ttry new faces, even if we lose matches in beginning and Keep trying. Look towards future and forget the past and drained out players
zzubair khan (kashmir india) Mar 18, 2010 06:23am
Please go for Afridi only.
mansoor Mar 18, 2010 06:26am
Given a clean chit and an unblemished record, I guess Abdul Razzaq deserves the premier post. But I guess Mr "ball chewer" might just win the race, given his dynamism in leading from the front and never- say-die attitude. Salman Butt and Misbah-ul-haq are perhaps too out of form & submissive enough to lead the team.
Tesla Mar 18, 2010 06:31am
I think Misbah's weaknesses haven't been properly noted. When the ball is too fast, Misbah can't bat. When the ball moves a bit, Misbah can't bat. On the other hand he is the absolute king of slow bowling and flat decks. His test average is 112 against India, and fails to go above 30 against any other reputable opposition. Against the likes of Australia his average hovers around the 15 mark. A clear indication that his hallmark are flat tracks and bowling which is not too fast or doesn't move much. In one days and 20/20s his averages are inflated because of a multitude of not outs. He should be renowned by now for killing the momentum of the game and taking a match which should have been won overs ago into a position where he pulls almost a miracle and wins it a second time, only to eventually take the team to defeat. And, that too is limited to 20/20, ODIs, and India. Razzaq, on the other hand, can play a long gutsy knock or he can smash the ball around-- he plays the situation to win the match. Razzaq averaging 39 is equal to Yousof averaging 45 because of Razzaq's ability to bat under pressure and hit the ball-- which is around what he was doing in ODIs when relegated to the ICL. He has a cool head, a good cricketing sense, and is respected by the team-mates (note Afridi's recommendations). He has a professional attitude and doesn't think of the team as a small family or isn't involved in group-ism. Therefore, in my opinion, if not Afridi, Razzaq is the best choice.
Brazer Mar 18, 2010 06:45am
I agree with you that Misbah should never have been dropped after that stellar performance against Australia many moons ago. But a certain Inzamam ul Haq had a personal grudge against him and as long as Inzamam was the head hencho of Pakistan cricket, Misbah never saw the light of the day. He was also unfairly dropped last year, he was made a escape-goat among a pathetic and gutless group of amateur players. Misbah will prove to be an erudite and respectable captain if given a chance.
Rashid Mar 18, 2010 06:46am
Very well written article. I will slightly disagree with the choice of the writer if Afridi is not named captain. Besides Afridi, Abdul Razzak is the only candidate on merit for captaincy. This beacuse he is younger & more experience than Misbah.
Khalid Mar 18, 2010 07:00am
Absolutely. Couldnt agree more. I think Afridi should be the first choice as he has the fighting ability and the respect of team mates. But if PCB for some odd reason decides not to appoint Afirdi as captain then Misbah should be the only option. Abdur Razzaq and Salman Butt have problems getting into the team. To make any one of them captain will only deteriorate the situation.
The Mirz Mar 18, 2010 07:07am
Very right! Misbah is the front runner of the post after the flamboyant all rounder Afridi. Salman Butt is not good enough for being selected in T-20 format of the game. He is a lazy fielder and even may lack to lead the side from the front. For an opener a player must have the ability to hit the ball out of the park to have the advantage of early restrictions on the field. Moreover, if in this restriction era a team goes with a run rate of six runs per over, it definitely loses unless some miracle happens. In T20 format 20 runs short are enough to lose. Muhammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal will be the right choice to open up the innings within the given resources. Abdul Razzaq is a good all rounder and team member but he lacks the leadership qualities. He can be a trump card for his captain not himself as captain. He is very simple and can be used, as a player can not assess himself, how he will control, assess and select the team which is going to defend its title. Misbah, on the other hand, is cool minded and has the ability to lead the team. He in the absence of Shoaib Malik is the only senior one in the middle order in this format. He is responsible and can revolve the players around him in batting line-up. Rest is upto the performance of the team....
Sheheryar Khan Mar 18, 2010 07:09am
I think captaincy is something that needs to be thought of in the long term. You are right about Salman Butt being a potential Test captain. I honestly don't think he even deserves a place in the T20 squad. He is a poor fielder and runner like you mentioned, and his batting hasn't been a success either in this format. As for Misbah and Razzaq, they would be short-term solutions for the captaincy. So I think the only real choice left is Afridi. Yes he has set a bad example with his ball biting incident but given the lack of options in this current team.... I say give Afridi a long run at the top.
Adam Khan Mar 18, 2010 07:38am
I am 100% sure Afridi captain Pakistan.
SKH Mar 18, 2010 07:48am
Totally agree... don't really see Razzaq as good tactical captain.. and Butt wont be able to garner the respect required to be a captain.
Raza Mar 18, 2010 07:51am
Choice # 1: Afridi Choice # 2: Misbah Choice #3: Abdur Razaq Choice #4: Again Afridi (As there is no need of But in T20, slowest batsman in T20)
Niaz Khan Mar 18, 2010 08:22am
I think Shahid Afridi is the best choice -he is good motivator, fielder and batsman if clicks.
Taimur Malik Mar 18, 2010 08:38am
Good Analysis Mr. Alvi, but in my opinion AFRIDI is the only candidate for me and he should have been captaining Pakistan after Inzi retired. However our bureaucracy at PCB never gives required support to Captain instead play politics around captain. I can see Afridi have the quality to deal with it. He is long deserving and wanting to lead the side more then any of the others. He has passion, guts and urge of victory. This makes him unique among all. However I HOPE PCB thinks this way but unfortunately we have politicians at the helm of sporting affairs, be its cricket or hockey and be its Mr. Butt or Dasti!!!!!! Taimur Malik
Ashok Sai Mar 18, 2010 08:42am
Umar Gul should be tried.
Wasim Mar 18, 2010 08:46am
@Tesla You can't average 40 in Odis and $46.27 in T20's if you can't play fast bowlers. Misbah has the highest T20 average in the world amongst players who have played more than 15 matches. Both Razzaq and Afridi average in 20's yet its quite strange that you consider them a better player than Misbah. Is he the only batsman in the world who bats at #5 and is taking advantage by not losing his wicket too often. He has scores of 31, 66, 16, 16, 87,23, 31 and 5 where he remained not out, he has a good SR so you can't say that he bats like Malik or Fawad Alam. Razzaq and Afridi usually bat lower than him why can't they remain not out. I am not sure which matches you are talking about where he killed the momentum and made us lose in T20 as Pakistan has lost very few T20 matches. Afridi can't stay on the wicket for more than 3 overs therefore he can't play test cricket, his bowling is also not good enough for test matches. Good thing is that he knows his own limitations and therefore has many times categorically denied the possibility of coming out of his test retirement. Biggest problem with Afridi is that he has failed to mature and learn over the last 15 years, he is extremely selfish only plays for himself or to please the crowd never shows any match awareness or sense of responsibility something which his fans very proudly confuse with aggressiveness. He is only in the team because of his bowling which btw has taken a dip, just look at his bowling performance in Australia. Razzaq is a good player he can both bat and bowl but he is extremely inconsistent in Odis and tests. He is a good candidate for T20 leadership on merit.
Proudtobepakistani Mar 18, 2010 08:55am
I think Afridi is the best choice. Henking is fearless, command respect and covers all aspect of the game. Razzaq is a great all rounder but does not have a demeanor of a captain. Misbah is a good choice as he is an intelligent cricketer. Salman i would not even select him for 20/20 as there are better 20/20 players for opener and a better fielder like Imran Nazir and Mohd Hafeez. this is my winning team for 20/20 Imran Nazir Mohd Hafeez Kamran Akmal Misbah Shahid Afridi Captain Fawad Alam Abdul Razzaq Mohd Aamer UmerGul Ajmal Mohd Asif
ahsan Mar 18, 2010 09:02am
Afridi or Razzaq should be captain. Salman butt should be out of the team.
Asif Mar 18, 2010 09:05am
What has been Misbah's performances after the T20 World Cup 2007. He has been given too many chances and doesn't deserve to be in the team.
Zeeshan Ali Mar 18, 2010 09:31am
My vote is for none of them. Razzaq & Misbah are bit old & may not last more than two years. Afridi is emotional & lacks maturity. Salman Butt..well should not be part of any team only good on batting tracks so should only play First Class Cricket in Pakistan. Temporary choice could be Afridi for the 20/20 world cup. Faisal Iqbal could be a better choice for longterm in all three formats.
A. Samad Mar 18, 2010 09:46am
Well..... Agree to most of the above points highlighted by Mr. Alvi but I do not think that Razzaq is not batsman & the potential batsman as well as captaincy candidate. ONE person can lead the team in all formats is difficult to find in current scenario, but still the primary candidate should Razzaq and secondary Misbah. Razzak is a match winner in all 3 cricketing formats. Afridi is as good as his LAST game, very unpredictable and at times vulnerable. Though, we have great regard for him as an allrounder. He has not been playing test matches therefore can not lead the team in the most difficult format. Butt can not play T20 well enough to be a captain, secondly it would like one BUTT is favoring another BUTT & so on... Whoever becomes the skipper, board should now choose youngster to train as another potential candidate as future captain. WHO knows what's gonna happen in Pakistan cricket in the near future. All the best to our team and fans! Cheers.
Wajahat Ali Gilgit Mar 18, 2010 09:53am
Shehzad Valliani Mar 18, 2010 09:56am
A senior player of Afridi's calibre should not have made the foolish mistake of biting the ball during the last ODI in Australia. This indicates the lack of maturity and temperament on part of Afridi. On the contrary, Misbah seems to have the perseverance / maturity to steer Pakistan's team out of this crisis and should be entrusted with this task.
Sajjad M. Afzal Mar 18, 2010 10:10am
Its better that we get a person who has courage, good team leader and a good motivator.... so Shahid Afridi will be a good choice.
Fatima Nasir Mar 18, 2010 10:12am
In my point of view, you are completely right to vote Misbah, he deserves it! He is calm, cool headed and plays sensibly. Afridi is pretty good but he gets nervous pretty easy. I think he'll perform better without captaincy hanging above his head like a sword to worry him. Make him vice captain, Misbah the captain, and see where it goes!
Qasim Mar 18, 2010 10:28am
As Afridi has not been banned for six months/1 year as he should have been and is actually available for selection, given the current set of players, he is a natural selection as captain for T20I and ODIs. I guess its a "mojo" thing than anything else. There is a buzz about him whereas all the rest are lethargic and the "trickle down effect" they would have on the team would be Yousufesque. There is a tendency to forget that Afridi is primarily a bowler who is doing pretty well at the a.m. formats atleast and his batting is a bonus on top of that not to mention one of the better fielders too. We can cuss and curse him all we want for throwing his wicket away but in our heart of hearts, we all want him to hit that ball out of the park. Somebody has summed up Misbah ul Haq very well. His technique has many flaws. The way he dries up runs makes you want to wish he was bowling and not batting. He should not be in the side in the first place and definitely should not be made captain. He wouldn't command the respect of the players as well. Salman Butt was a big prospect a few years ago but he still hasn't ironed out his running, fielding and the outside off waft. No place in T20I atleast. Abdur Razzak is a good player and a distant second choice behind Afridi. I'll bet the PCB think tank would be busy thinking up ways to trump all that has happened in Pakistan Cricket (mind you they are very capable of doing it) and end up making Kamran Akmal the captain in all three formats.
Saeed Nizamani Mar 18, 2010 11:02am
For God's sake please pick someone else...Pakistan is full of talent :(
Fahad Mar 18, 2010 11:51am
You need someone who can make it to the team even if he weren't the captain. That immediately rules Misbah out, who has been extremely inconsistent over the past couple of years. Same with Salman Butt. I would go for Afridi.
Fahad Mar 18, 2010 12:46pm
Why are Misbah and Butt even being debated !? They can not even hold their spot in the team. Why does presentablity in front of the media even be a factor. Just get a media liason officer instead. Razzaq would also not make it to the team at all times. His batting is inconsistent and he is not a frontline bowler. Afridi is the only option. He makes it to the team purely as a bowler (after Gul he has been Pakistan's best bowler in T20s). And his batting can win you matches (even if only occassionally) as well.
Mo Mar 18, 2010 12:51pm
AFRIDI for sure! just think about it, whenever he comes out to bowl or bat or does something on the field, there is an uncomfortable feeling in the opposition....... NOW imagine the whole team's attitude working with him as someone said. he has a "mojo" effect, which NO ONE can deny There are a number of examples of his individual excellence that lifted the spirits of the team as a whole. I hope everyone remembers the catch he took running towards the boundary against NZ in the T20 semifinal ... for me that was one of the turning points of the game. I have nothing negative to say about the other three. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, but when it comes to CHOOSE THE BEST OPTION ....... I do not see why AFIRDI cannot lead the team.
Rajat Mar 18, 2010 01:01pm
I think Pakistan should opt for a rotation policy here.. new captain for every match.. every player is aware that he will be captain twice in a year.. so there will be no in fighting in the team.. and this will give the team much needed team spirit :)
Mahendra Singh Mar 18, 2010 04:01pm
Misbah seems to be good choice. He is gutsy, captain has to be cool and so is he. he could build a good Pakistani team for future.
asad Mar 18, 2010 04:14pm
Faisal Iqbal ??????? You can't be serious. Wake up... tuk.. tuk...tuk
Adeel Chaudary Mar 18, 2010 06:46pm
There should be no debate Afridi should be made captain. The reason is that he has performed well in all departments including fielding, batting and bowling for last couple of years. We need a captain who can perform in all departments of the game and I think Afridi is a right man for this job.
farhan Mar 18, 2010 08:17pm
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm to me i think that afridi is the best option .
Shehzad Mar 19, 2010 12:22am
1. Butt is a dud........ I don't know why he is even in the team in any form of cricket and specially T20 and now we are considering him to lead the team.... boy he must have some good connections. Probably only reason he in the team is his last name same as chairman Ijaz Butt. 2. Afridi is good but he bites the ball, who knows next time he will bite the umpire... what then? 3. Mishbah.... would have been a good candidate if he was performing... in current situation he doesn't even deserve a spot in the team.... so captaincy. 4. Razzaq seems like the best option for now. He is a talented cricketer, one of the senior most player in the team, consistent performer, and carried himself well. Will little help from others he can represent the team well. But then Pakistan had never selected the expected ones to lead the team anyways. This current situation and ban on players was only to a show to take the lime light away from chairman of the board. Let see if logic prevails.
Adnan Mar 19, 2010 01:16am
Afridi is the only choice. He did a mistake by biting a ball but he apologized to the nation. There are some people in this world who killed millions of innocent people (directly or indirectly) and then argue it was justifiable. I wish everyone live peacefully in this world.
Junaid Mar 19, 2010 03:13am
Razzaq for 20/20 & Salman for One days and Test.
Murtaza Mar 19, 2010 04:10am
Fawad Alam is the future of Pakistan Cricket. PCB needs to be gutsy and make Fawad captain in all forms of the game.
Nagesh Pai Mar 19, 2010 04:26am
Afridi. He is sensational and extremely talented. I guess somebody needs to sit with him and give the same support as Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni got in India.....I am sure if PCB shows confidence on him and mentor him he can be one of the greatest Captain and Player Pakistan ever had....He is fearless, innovative, enthusiastic and aggressive and all the time plays for winning only.....I wish he is chosen as the captain....I am a big fan of him; though I am an Indian and hate him when he smothers the Indian bowlers :); but I guess he has it in him to take the team along with him....Also it is high time that Pakistan drop all the seniors from their team and bring in the new faces; in all the formats. Afridi can be a good captain in all the formats of Cricket.....
obaid Mar 19, 2010 04:34am
AA: It seems we are trying to achieve all at once. Truth of the matter is that cricket controlling body consists of outdated management, most of them well below average cricketers of their time. The management goes in circles and has not been able to perform well. Players are blamed for all the failures. There is too much interference from political corridor as well. Players find little time to concentrate on their practice and performance. We definitely need a revival in international cricket, as well as in domestic cricket. Best thing would be to prepare good practicing and match facilities for domestic players and incentives for well performing players. This way we can produce good players in the long run. Hopefully, India will lose to Afghanistan in its first match and Pakistan to Bangladesh, and finally meet in the final...of another 20-20.
Ammar Rahim Mar 19, 2010 05:21am
Maybe Afridi was feeling hungry at that time :p
Saad Usmani Mar 19, 2010 05:40am
Shahid Afridi is the best choice for captincy. A very well written & analyzed article as mentioned in the article "Shahid Afridi" has the personality traits of fearlessness, motivating power, aggressiveness, energy and enthusiasm for the job. He deserves the captincy of PAKISTAN Team. My vote is for Shahid Afridi.....
Wasit Mar 19, 2010 05:58am
Pakistan needs a thorough and not piecemeal clean out of the sports mess. Let us look for a totally new face for the position of a captain and not at the same players that have brought such shame on Pakistan.
Mansoor Ahmed Zia Mar 19, 2010 06:58am
Rajat, you have just posted one of the finest view i have ever gone through so far. Yes this option can be adopted as well. That there should be rotation policy, may be for two matches may be for one matches as well. but PCB is not a very thoughtful department. They still stick with the old school of thoughts. Talking about Afiridi, Salman Butt, Razzaq and Misbah ul Haq, i think Misbah Has played his part, now its time for him to just play at his best on his batting because his career is about to end. Razzaq, has been too much in and out by the PCB and PCB also treated him badly. The All rounder of his calibre cannot be treated, as Razzaq had been treated. Despite of bad run in past career, he is still managing to belt the innings which carrys all the class and also been able to finish the game in style in favor of Pakistan. SO he is hot candidate for Captancy. Now talking about Salman Butt, he is doing good with the bat in recent past, but considerign bad performance in past, we cannot help him out in T20 games. His batting does not has the spark, which T20 requirs from the batsman. More over he is still very slugish while running between wicket and shows that he is a bit selfish for his own wicket. so cannot be opted for the Captan. Now for the Afiridi, for T20 and ODI, Afiridi has better chance than salman Butt and Misbah. Because, his All round performance in Fielding, Bowling and Batting is much improved from last 3 years. He has been scoring crusual runs, taking wickets have good time in field taking important catches and run out, what else we need. Yes for the Test arena, Afiridi touch short, as he has kept himself out from test circle for a very long time..... in Short, we should opt Afridi or Razzaq for T20 and ODI matches. and for the Test Matches we should have Salman butt as captan
Ashok Sai Mar 19, 2010 08:50am
correctly said, he is very INNOVATIVE !!!
Rafay Mar 19, 2010 11:04am
How can salman butt control younis, yousaf and malik. We know there going to be back soon. Paki players have huge egos and you need men with better experience to captain them. Shahid Afridi is are seasoned veteran. Hes played 293 matches. With the greats like the two Ws. Opened along with Saeed Anwar. He is the most experienced player on the squad with a fearless and competitive mind. He knows that he cant win a match alone. Unlike Salman Butt whos a lazy runner and selfish. Hence Salman Butt isnt even an option. Personally.
Rafay Mar 19, 2010 11:26am
I am sorry. But was it not Misbah that brought that first game(T20 WC 2007) against India to a draw by scoring 53 runs in only 35 balls. That too with Shahid Afridi out 2.2 overs to go and 38 runs required. Against Australia that man scored 66 runs in 42 ball and led the team to victory alongside Malik when the team had collapsed to a miserable 4-46 and a target of 165 in hand. Against India in the final he brought a match, that Pakistan had LOST, to a near victory. He scored 43 runs. Only one wrong shot soo what. Atleast he didnt shamefully give away his wicket on the first ball like Afridi. We might have been disappointed but atleast he gave us a chance to say we put up a good fight. UNLIKE THE WC 1999 where our best team had the most comprehensive defeat in the whole tournament. Hes a great player and a 2007 hero. Also in his youth 2002 he played a series against australia where he scored 39 and 50. yet he was dropped because Pakistan had a solid middle order.
rahul, india Mar 19, 2010 11:35am
hi guys, i have been reading all the comments here and i must say i feel sorry for the state of affairs in this moment. pakistan cricket lovers deserve better from their national team. it is a shame that there is a problem of selecting the captain in a country rich in talent like pakistan. over the years, pakistan has played the most exciting cricket. but it is very inconsistent. i think everything should be started from scrap and new face should be given a chance. the above mentioned players have never played to their potential. i have read people's comments that shahid afridi should be elected as the captain. have they forgotten how many times the team needed him and he did not perform? the other players dont even deserve the place in the team. there are many players out there who are better performers and should get their due. thanks for reading...... cricket lover
Rafay Mar 19, 2010 11:38am
And, on the youngest of levels in pakistan we are taught how to cheat. School if your average thats pathetic, then you cheat and become somewhat above average. Similarly Afridi wasnt willing to accept loss and thought whats the harm. We all cheat somewhat, and its because of our system.
Aqeel Mar 19, 2010 05:32pm
Mr. Sohaib Alvi. As usual you have produced another good analytical article. And I fully agree with you and some of your readers, and may Allah put some sense in these new generation of cricketers, and they start playing "CRICKET" again and for the sake of country and cricket itself. Having said that, I personally feel, as an old lover of cricket, that there is lots of confusion now days regarding the capabilities of modern day players, though I still believe they are "World beaters" if they decide to play as one unit. I don't know of these players, But in my time, There was Hafeez Kardar, as captain, followed by Fazal Mahmood, Imtiaz Ahmed, Hanif Mohammad, Saeed Ahmed--------- it was smooth sailing during this time, and Mr Ijaz Butt was one of the team member, as a batsman and wicketkeeper,in the absence of Imtiaz. Now I dont know Why he cannot manage,havivg the experience of playing with such great cricket players and team managers. {Now Take it as a joke. my suggestion is, In the present cirumstances, which is going around for last so many years, causing all the confusion,and bad name, that IJAZ BUTT,Chairman PCP, be made "NON-PLAYING Captain, or as "Captain-Wicketkeeper"and tour with the team. and improve the standard, I am sure some infighting will end, and problem of finding a Captain for the team will also be solved for sometime, his age permitting, All he has to do is keep the wickets,control the team, as far as catches and stumping is concerned, they are not done most of the time anyway, so it does not matter if he misses some! I am sure with him accepting the "captaincy" he will do another great service to Pakistan Cricket.) What think thou!!!!!!
ram lakhani Mar 19, 2010 06:07pm
If you wish to throw out any Player make him captain( as if he is responsible for all doings,good or bad at one match even. Why not Select a Captain as 12th man!!! He will be out of team and guide from outside without Emotion. Imran khan to be the Best!!!
Hasan Kham Mar 19, 2010 08:35pm
Dear Sohaib, I cannot disagree that Afridi should be the captain for all the points you have mentioned. I think it is critical to perform as a captain, only than one can exert his thinking on the ground. Apart from Afridi during the past 1 year so , no one has performed on a level where he should be considered as captain. Making Salman Captain at this point will be like , having Mohsin Khan open against the greats of West Indies. We will destroy his already fragile batting. Razzak does not seems to have the metal to lead on, although he must be part of every Pakistani team. Afridi you a bold choice when he was made captain, and he delivered. I don't think we should change him. Of course with Arfidi comes emotions, ball biting, pitch scrubbing and every thing. But today we are desperate , and once needs either desperation or inspiration, which is so hard to come by, hence we are more likely to succeed in our desperation. Good Luck to our team Pakistan Zaindabad.
Faheem Mar 20, 2010 07:45pm
Captaincy should go to a player who can firstly, hold his place in the team, possess leadership qualities and be blessed with experience of the game. In the present scenario, Afridi seems to be the only one to fit the bill, ball biting notwithstanding. Salman and Misbah are too junior and lack the wherewithal, Razzaq has been too much in and out of the team to command the understanding and respect of teamates. So in my opinion we have no choice but Afridi and he should be backed to the hilt.
Michael Mar 23, 2010 03:36am
Yousuf won't be back. Why would he want to come back after the way he's been treated? He's so close to retirement anyway that with a year out of the game he'll just call time. Younus also won't come back. He clearly didn't want to play for Pakistan after his leadership was sabotaged, as he saw what a toxic environment it is.
Michael Mar 23, 2010 04:17am
When picking a captain, the first criteria should be 'do they warrant a place in the team on ability/performance alone?'. In other words, pick your team, and then choose the captain from the players you've picked. There's no reason why you can't have someone captaining a side who doesn't make it into the team of another format - Johan Botha of South Africa captained the ODI team for a while and he doesn't play Tests; Ricky Ponting retired from Twenty20 and still captains Australia in ODIs and Tests. So, having decided that the potential captain warrants a place in the team on ability/performance, I think it's irrelevant to bring in other factors like how far they hit the ball, how aggressive they bat, etc because you've already decided they warrant a place in the team. Now, I don't believe that Butt warrants a place in the Twenty20 side. I also don't believe he has yet been consistent enough at Test level to be assured a place. So I would rule him out of contention for captaincy for either of those (though I might have him in my Test side if there are no better openers around). Misbah, also, I would not have in the Twenty20 side. I have noticed that his arrival at the crease often (but not always) results in a loss of momentum, as his batting of late has been quite scratchy when he gets going. Assuming he can find some form, I have no problem with him being in Test matches. Afridi has a good Test record but hasn't been playing recently and has retired a number of times. He has had some good performances in the shorter formats, and certainly deserves his place there. Rassak has a decent record in all formats, though like any player his form has gone up and down through his career. I think he was missed on the tour of NZ and Australia and can provide some balance to the side, though his bowling has lacked a bit of penetration of late. So, based on this the candidates I would suggest are: Test - Misbah or Rassak, ODI/T20 - Afridi or Rassak. Of those candidates, I'd be looking at the ability to think strategically (rather than be an 'inspirational' captain - Flintoff showed in the Ashes series of 2006-07 how well that goes). I also would have serious doubts about appointing anyone who is under probation for bad behaviour - as that is certainly not the example you want to set for your side.
vijay, chennai, India Mar 25, 2010 06:17am
Afridi of Razaq is not the question but who ever becomes the captain will he be able to unite the players? Or simply will allow the players to form groups?
Rija Zaidi Mar 27, 2010 12:01pm
I firmly believe my father can be a very good choice. He is well educated (rarity in Pak team), speaks good English (our players usually speak Punjabi), understands cricket very well (our players only understand how to create division and spoil team spirit) and above all, plays good cricket (at least better than Salman Butt). So why not my father ????
Salim Mar 31, 2010 02:54am
I agree with you. Afridi can be the captain as he can bite cricket ball like apple.