Skipper should be given a freehand to avoid disaster: Rameez Raja

Raja is not at all surprised that Shahid Afridi is foul-mouthing Waqar Younis for meddling in his business Getty Images

Karachi: May 17, 2011

Former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja has warned that if a skipper is not given the required freedom to lead the team, sooner or later the management is bound to collapse.

The differences between current ODI skipper Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis have made the headlines in the past few days.

“The game was designed around the captain and by fiddling with its dynamics, the managements are running the risk of inviting disaster. The concept may sound archaic, but it holds firm even today. The players must have one-man to report to and take command from otherwise their quarters will invite selfish interests and politics as long term guests,” Raja wrote in his column in the Dawn daily newspaper.

“The more clear-cut the chain of command, the more effective the decision-making process and greater the efficiency. So I am not at all surprised when I hear captain Afridi foul mouthing the coach for meddling in his business, or the coach, cribbing about selectors, for undermining his team’s chances with poor selection because if you get the order mixed up, things are bound to turn ugly,” he wrote.

The PCB put Afridi on notice for giving statements in the media that suggested he was not happy with Waqar’s undue interference in his work in the team.

Afridi is believed to have developed serious differences Waqar over selection matters during the West Indies tour.

Despite being tipped to outclass the troubled and under-strength West Indies side in the series, Pakistan lost the sole T20 match and managed to win the one-day series 3-2.

In a bigger shock they lost the low scoring first test on Sunday.

Rameez said the Pakistan dressing room needs a culture change.

“It won’t come from computers or an army of technical team, but with an environment which facilitates bright discussions about the game and character building. A captain has to drive home that theme, hard enough to enthuse the players and all the stakeholders to put shoulder to the wheel. The mission should be to groom players to think on their feet, and turn out cricket recruits who are able to read situations smartly,” he wrote.