x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Salman Butt steps in as Pakistan captain

Following Shahid Afridi's shock decision to retire from Test cricket, the PCB appoint the opener to lead the team against Australia in the second Test.

Salman Butt will captain Pakistan for the remaining Test matches on their tour of England following Shahid Afridi's shock decision to retire from the five-day game yesterday. Afridi made his surprise announcement immediately after Pakistan lost the first Test against Australia by 150 runs at Lord's ? his first Test as skipper. The all-rounder, 30, cited a lack of temperament and a side strain for his decision and will not travel with the team to Leeds for the second Test, which begins on Wednesday. Following a hastily-arranged Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meeting this morning opening batsman Butt was named as Afridi's replacement for the Headingley Test as well as the following three-Test series against England. "This morning we have decided that Salman Butt will captain the team from now," a PCB spokesman told Press Association Sport. "He will captain the team against Australia in the next Test and he will then also lead the team against England. Kamran Akmal is the vice captain. "The PCB will then decide on who will captain the Test team from then on after that series." Afridi is expected to remain as captain of Pakistan's one-day and Twenty20 teams. He is set to stay in England with family over the coming days, but is expected to return back to Pakistan to assess his fitness before the limited overs series against England, which begins on September 5. The PCB spokesman also confirmed they would not look to replace Afridi in their 16-man Test squad, despite speculation of a recall for veteran batsmen Younus Khan or Mohammad Yousuf. Both batsmen were handed indefinite bans by the PCB following the disastrous winter tour of Australia, although Younus has since had his ban lifted. Yousuf remains officially retired after he chose not to appeal his ban, however, there has been talk of a return to strengthen the middle order after debutant duo Azhar Ali and Umar Amin batted three and four in the first Test. "We will not look to call up another player to the squad," the spokesman added. "We are happy with the Test squad for the rest of the tour."

* PA