THE PAKISTAN CRICKET TEAM for the T20 WC has been announced, 15 players are in the squad and the only thing that the PCB is holding at the moment is the Captaincy Card.
If Pakistan needs to win this T20 WC, they must appoint Shahid Afridi as the captain. He was the logical choice and the designated captain for T20 before the ball biting incident. The ICC has given him punishment with a 2 match ban. The PCB has penalized him further by fining him Rs. 3,000,000 for biting the ball, he has paid the price and got the punishment twice for the same offense, which is very rare that you get punished twice for the same offense.
Therefore, in the interest of the game and for the promotion of Pakistan cricket, the PCB s needs to swallow a bitter pill by letting it go and appoint him as the Captain of the team. He is already under probation for the next six months and he won’t be doing anything silly. Besides, it is a fact that there is no one in the team who is more capable than him to lead the team. Hence it would be foolish on part of Butt & Co., not to appoint him as the captain.
Misbah, if he is appointed as captain of the team, it would be very demoralizing because of the fact that he is totally out of form. Secondly, he has no captaincy experience nor he is captain’s material. If Misbah is not appointed as a captain he won’t deserve to be in the team but, the irony is he is in the squad and the chances are Butt and Bari would like to appoint him as captain of the team. If Misbah is not the captain then, his slot goes to Hammad Azam, the young man who played so well in the U-19 WC. He definitely deserves a chance to prove his worth among the seniors.
Abdul Razzaq was not even selected for the Aus / NZ tour on the basis of non-performance but, he played well in both the T20 matches against England in Dubai. He definitely needs to be in the playing XI but, the question is not about his worth as a player but, the qualities of a leader. As a leader Abdul Razzaq is no match to Shahid Afridi and Razzaq by nature is a very soft and docile person.
Pakistan needs a strong leader and Shahid Afridi is the best choice and, the PCB should not look at this scenario like a school teacher or Butt as a Head Master who not only wants to punish his pupil but, wants to deprive him from all other benefits for a trivial offense which is not new, every Tom, Dick and Harry has been tampering the ball and Afridi is the second one to bite it after India’s fast bowler Manoj Prabhakar who bit the ball against New Zealand two decades ago. Afridi’s ball biting incident has been blown out of proportion because of his celebrity status and also because of his temperament.
The PCB should not delve deeper into this matter and keep on dragging it any further. After a fine of Rs. 3 million they should consider it as over. And, they must quickly appoint him as Captain so that the whole team knows that he is appointed with full honours. There shouldn’t be any ifs and buts and hidden clauses in it. As a captain he should be taking charge of the team right from the training camp and for him it is very important to keep his emotions under control and lead the team by example.
A message for Mr. Ijaz Butt:
NOT just the Pakistani nation but, the whole cricketing world knows that you are a very obstinate old man, you have no rationale thinking or the ability to take a right decision, we are not blaming you as such but, at this age most people behave like you. And, because you are holding such an important post you are more in focus by the media and the cricket fans which are not just a few but in hundreds of millions. It is in the best interest of the nation that you keep the regionalism bias aside and appoint Shahid Afridi as the captain of the Pakistan team for this T20 WC.
If Misbah ul Haq or Abdul Razzaq is appointed as captain and if Pakistan team is defeated or, does not perform well, it will be a tactical mistake and there will be more blame on you for NOT appointing Shahid Afridi as the captain. So, to avoid that you must not appoint anyone else as captain other than Shahid Afridi. It will be your right decision and despite that if the team fails, then there is nothing that one can do about it and, you will not be blamed for being so obstinate and incompetent.