Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced that all-rounder Shahid Afridi is going to lead the national team in the shortest format of the game—Twenty20.
The expected announcement was made a short while ago through a press release that included the confirmation that Misbahul Haq will continue to lead the team in the longer formats—Test and ODI cricket.
“In line with my policy of taking decisions democratically I consulted Cricket Committee and my Board members before announcing these decisions. I wish both Afridi and Misbah very good luck in their upcoming assignments,” the PCB chairperson Shaharyar Khan stated through the media release.
Pakistan has two full-fledged series to play before the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February. The national team will host Australia for a two Test, three ODI and a solitary T20 series.
The series would be followed by three Test, five ODI and two T20 match series against New Zealand also set to be hosted in the UAE.
Meanwhile, this is the second stint at the helm of the T20 format for Afridi. The belligerent all-rounder captained the team in the World T20 staged in the West Indies in 2010.
So far he has led the team in 19 matches in the shortest format and his last assignment was the 2011 T20 against the West Indies in 2011.
His stint started shortly after Pakistan won the WorldT20 under the captaincy of Younus Khan in England in June 2009.
In the 19 games at the helm Afridi had mixed results, winning eight and losing 11 matches. Pakistan made it to the semi-finals of the 2010 world championship but were knocked out after a sensational assault from Michael Hussey in a game that seemed in control of the then defending champions.
His latest tenure starts with the Australian T20 set to take place on October 5 in Dubai.
“We need to be positive and brave in international cricket; it is all about handling the pressure” Afridi told reporters in Karachi shortly after the PCB announcement.
Afridi also thanked the cricket board for reposing confidence in his abilities once again and vowed to lead the team positively.
The announcement by the PCB has put to rest speculation in the media that a young captain with an eye on the future was the approach that the board was following.
Batsmen Sohaib Maqsood, Ahmed Shehzad and Fawad Alam were in the fray to lead the team. Shehzad who was widely tipped by many as the favourite among the trio had the decision makers turn away from him after his unsavoury exchange with Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan.