Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi may lead Pakistan in next month's one-day series against New Zealand if regular captain Younus Khan fails to recover from his finger injury.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board said the message was conveyed to Afridi by PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt during a meeting they had in Lahore on Friday.
"Younus is struggling to recover from his finger injury that he sustained in the Champions Trophy and which apparently got worse when he played after taking painkilling injections," one source said.
Afridi was deputy to Younus in the Champions Trophy and is also Pakistan's Twenty20 captain.
After the meeting with Butt, Afridi downplayed the speculation and said the injury to Younus was not serious and he should be fit for the series in Abu Dhabi and Dubai starting on November 3.
"Younus is recovering well from the injury and I think he should be fit to lead Pakistan," Afridi said.
Afridi was critical of the statements made by a parliamentarian Jamshed Dasti that the national team might have under-performed deliberately against Australia and New Zealand in the Champions Trophy.
"The statement by Jamshed Dasti was not good for Pakistan's image in the world and such statements should be avoided at all costs," he said.