Shahid Afridi © AFP
Shahid Afridi praised Pakistan’s performance against Australia in the Test series © AFP

Karachi: Nov 8, 2014

Pakistan’s flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi has said that the captaincy issue of the national one-day team for the ICC World Cup 2015 should be laid to rest as Misbah-ul-Haq was the best choice to lead the side in the mega event.

Afridi told reporters in Islamabad that Misbah had so far done a good job as the Pakistan Test and one-day captain and was the best person to lead the team in the World Cup. “I think this issue should be laid to rest once and for all now because the World Cup is round the corner and Misbah is the best man for the job,” he said.

Afridi said he and all the other players fully supported Misbah and that there were no groupings in the team. “I don’t know why media creates controversies by misquoting me. They seem to blow everything I say out of proportion,” Afridi added. “I have said it before that I never run after the captaincy but like every player I said I am available for this responsibility if required. But the media gives the impression I am after this job,” he said.

Afridi was forced to issue a statement last month reiterating his full support for Misbah after he made some comments after the third one-day international against Australia on the captaincy issue in Abu Dhabi. The chairman of the board, Shaharyar Khan had rapped Afridi for the comments stating they were irresponsible. The allrounder’s comments came after Misbah led Pakistan to a historic Test series win over Australia and outdid himself with some impressive individual performances. Soon after the Test series win the PCB made it clear that Misbah would continue as captain until the World Cup.

A strong lobby had been campaigning for Afridi to be made the one-day captain before the World Cup in place of Misbah who has been dubbed as a defensive skipper. Afridi also praised Pakistan’s display against Australia in Tests and said it was an outstanding performance from everyone in the team. “It was heartwarming to see the team outclass a team like Australia and everyone contributed to the victory,” Afridi added. To a question, he advised the cricket board to avoid tinkering with the present one-day squad and said it was the best possible combination for the mega event.

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