Pakistan, on Wednesday, appointed opener Salman Butt vice-captain for the forthcoming Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and the subsequent tour to England. The Pakistan Cricket Board said Salman was appointed as newly-appointed Test captain Shahid Afridi's deputy till September.
Salman, who has been in prolific form in recent times, said he was excited to work with Afridi and would never allow pressure to affect his form. "I have played with Afridi but this is the first time I will interact with him as part of the management. We all know that he is an aggressive and positive captain and it should be fun working with him," said Salman, who was also the vice-captain of Pakistan for a brief period in 2007.
"Obviously, there is pressure but I am in good form and the team needs runs from me. It will be a tough job to balance both the things but I ensure runs will keep flowing from my bat," he said. Salman also pointed out that the Asia Cup and England tour would be tough assignments for Pakistan.
"It is going to be difficult for us, we will have to struggle a lot. But in recent matches we have lost from winning positions, so we just need to work on our finishing," he said.
Salman was also candid on the availability of senior players for the upcoming tours. "Look if they are available it will be good for us but if they are not then we have to move on. To all the new players who will get a chance in the team, my message would be work hard to seal your places," he said.
"At some stage the seniors have to go. Changes always occur in a team, so sooner or later we have to give exposure to the new players," the left-hander stated.
Afridi hailed Salman's appointment to the vice-captain post, saying, "It is a good decision and the board took me into confidence. I am happy to be working with him in the team management. He is an experienced player and has remained vice-captain before," he added.
Former chief selector Iqbal Qasim also backed Salman's appointment but hoped that the additional pressure would not affect his batting. "It is a good decision for the future because Butt is young and we need to groom a future captain. But I am just worried that this does not affect his batting as he has been in good form in recent times. We will need him to be scoring runs in the Asia Cup and in England," Qasim said.