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No surprises as Afridi is named Pakistan captain for World Cup

There was a lot of delay fuelling speculation that Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq could be appointed ahead of Afridi.

KARACHI // The all-rounder Shahid Afridi was confirmed as Pakistan's World Cup captain following his team's one-day series victory in New Zealand.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named their 15-man squad for the tournament opening on February 19 without naming a captain, fuelling speculation that Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq could be appointed ahead of Afridi.

However in a statement on Friday the PCB said Afridi, 30, a veteran of 311 one-day internationals, will lead the side for the World Cup which will be jointly hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Misbah-ul-Haq will be the vice-captain.

"The board has also retained Waqar Younis as chief coach and Aaqib Javed as bowling consultant for the World Cup," PCB media manager, Nadeem Sarwar said. He gave no explanation for the delay in naming a captain.

Sarwar said the board had also decided to send security advisor Wasim Ahmed with the team while former captain Intikhab Alam will continue as team manager.

Pakistan are in Group A of the World Cup alongside Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.

Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said Afridi was the correct choice. "It was the logical thing to do because he has now been leading the one-day side since last year and the players are also comfortable with him and understand his leadership style," Latif said.

"If anything I don't understand what prompted the board to delay the announcement. It only led to speculation which is not good for Pakistan cricket ahead of such an important event."

Another former Test captain Zaheer Abbas said Afridi would now have to show great responsibility.

"He has a golden chance to create history for Pakistan because we haven't won the World Cup since 1992. Afridi because of his experience was the right choice," Zaheer said.





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