Shahid Afridi won’t stay on as captain after World T20: PCB chief

  • Imtiaz Ahmed, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • Updated: Mar 21, 2016 20:38 IST
Pakistan's Shahid Afridi talks to Mohammad Amir during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against India. (AP Photo)

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Monday Shahid Afridi will no longer be Pakistan’s T20 captain after the World Twenty20 series, irrespective of the team’s performance in the remainder of the tournament.

Pakistan’s World Twenty20 loss to India in Kolkata on Saturday was “very disappointing” and there is “clear discontent” in the PCB over Afridi’s performance and captaincy, Khan told a news conference in Lahore.

The “board will not retain him as captain any longer”, he said.

Earlier, a disappointed Khan had said on Sunday the nation should not pin much hope on the team in the World T20 tournament.

The fate of the team’s coach too hangs in the balance as Khan announced that Waqar Younis will be replaced after the summer series in England.

On the issue of Afridi, Khan said: “If he wishes to continue after the World T20, he will have to leave the captaincy.

“I didn’t force Afridi to announce his retirement after the World T20...He himself said he would retire. Afridi is an iconic player, that is why we made him the captain earlier.”

READ: A champ’s last chance: Why World T20 is important for Shahid Afridi

Criticising the selection of the team for the match against India, Khan said playing with four fast bowlers at the spinning Eden Gardens pitch was a crucial mistake. A specialist spinner should have been included in the playing XI, he added.

Khan said the next two matches against New Zealand and Australia are important for Pakistan and hoped the team will qualify for the last four of the World T20.

“I hope we will qualify for the World T20 semis. I was sad that we lost to India. However, there was no security hassle for the team in India,” he said.

Khan further said Pakistan-India cricketing relations need to be revived because a “bilateral series is the need of the hour”, adding international cricket could resume in Pakistan once a World XI visits the country.

“Giles Clarke is coming in April to discuss the visit of the World XI. We are expecting the World XI in September. The International Cricket Council’s security team visited Pakistan. They presented a positive report. The matches will be played in Lahore and Karachi. We hope it will help us bring cricket back into Pakistan,” he explained.

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