Afridi may be retained as ODI, T20 captain

LEEDS: Shahid Afridiís unexpected antics have compelled Pakistan cricket officials to re-think about the all-rounderís future as captain for even the limited-overs version of the game.

Afridi retired from Tests after Pakistan lost to Australia by 150 runs in the first Test at Lordís. Though all the team officials ó including manager Yawar Saeed, coach Waqar Younis and even PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt ó said that Afridi had done his job remarkably well, his decision to retire has not been welcomed.

Even a PCB official thinks Afridi should have behaved in a more mature manner.

ďIf he wanted to quit as the Test captain, there were better ways of doing that,Ē he said. Afridiís misadventure has compelled the PCB think-tank to look for other options for the limited-overs team.

Afridi has been announced as the one-day captain and is expected to take over the responsibility when Pakistanís ODI series begins against England after the Tests. But things could change depending on the results of the Test series from here on.

An encouraging performance from the team in the remaining five Tests (one against Australia and four against England) could see more changes.

When a PCB official, who is present here, was approached in Leeds on Monday, he said that Afridi has already been named captain. ďWhat happens in between we donít know about that. Currently, we are focussing on the Test series.

ďIt is too early to say anything about the ODIs,Ē he said. Meanwhile, there are rumours that even former captain Shoaib Malik could return to lead the team in the one-dayers ó if not immediately then sometime later this year.

ďIt all depends on the success in the remaining Tests. A good performance could see newly appointed captain Salman Butt dictating terms. A successful captain holds the power in Pakistan cricket.

ďButt, who is a favourite amongst PCB officials for being educated and well behaved, could well take over as Pakistanís future captain in all forms of cricket if his team performs well in England,Ē a source within the team said.

It is also believed that Butt puts Malik in high esteem and he might forward the all-rounderís name for captaincy in limited-overs cricket.