Didn't assure Afridi to lead team in ODI's: Butt

PCB Chief Ijaz Butt at an ICC meet Getty Images

Karachi: May 18, 2011

Shahid Afridi has not been given any guarantee that he would continue as captain of the Pakistan one-day team, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said on Wednesday.

“No assurance has been rendered to Shahid Afridi of retaining him as skipper for the upcoming One-Day International matches in Ireland,” Butt told a television channel.

His remarks immediately set off a debate and speculation on whether Afridi’s statement about differences in the team management on the West Indies tour might have finally got him into a big trouble.

The ODI skipper was slapped with a notice for his remarks which he made soon after returning from the West Indies.

But earlier in the day, media reports have speculated that Afridi had spoken to Butt before leaving for the United States and confirmed his availability for the two ODIs against Ireland.

The reports said that PCB chief had indicated to Afridi that he would continue as skipper and the matter of him being served a notice would not derail his captaincy bid.

But later Butt insisted that he had given no such assurances to Afridi.

Butt said during his discussion with Afridi he had told him clearly that because of the disciplinary issue pending against him (Afridi), no decision has been taken yet on his captaincy.

“I didn’t give any assurances to anyone and we are still in the process of debating the changes for the series against Ireland which is also important,” the PCB chief added.

Butt said he had spoken to Afridi about the latter’s statement in the media.

Well placed sources also said that Butt had spoken to chief selector, Mohsin Khan about the series against Ireland.

“The majority chances are that the board will not take the risk of naming a new ODI captain for the Ireland series but with Butt at helm of affairs anything is possible. There is no doubt that he is unhappy with Afridi’s habit of going to the media on every issue under the sun,” one source said.

Afridi has made himself available for the Ireland series and insisted he is keen to play and lead the team.

Before leaving for the US, the flamboyant all-rounder said he had no intentions of quitting captaincy and was, in fact, thinking about leading Pakistan in next year’s T20 World Cup.