Akram now backs Malik to captain Pakistan

Published: Saturday, April 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:With 'silly' Younis Khan spurning the chance to captain the Pakistan side, former Skipper Wasim Akram is now backing the 'young and talented' Shoaib Malik to steer the 1992 champions.

Although Akram still maintained that Younis would have been a good choice to succeed Inzamam-ul-Haq, he says the battered team is left with hardly any options.

The left arm swing of sultans told Mobile ESPN,'' The only ones who can handle the job are Mohammed Yousuf and Shoaib Malik.'' ''Shoaib Malik is a good choice. He is young and he is talented.

We should back him and groom this lad. I don't think we have much of a choice, if Younis is not interested.'' Akram said Younis would have been a good choice ''But if he has indeed been making those comments about absolute power and control, then Younis is silly. For any captain, he must first win the trust of his teammates, get some victories under his belt and power will automatically come. You don't have to clamour for power.''

Younis Khan reportedly declined to take up the captaincy because he was 'not assured of full powers' and the 'reaction of fans' to the team's ouster.

Akram also rejected former captain and coach Javed Miandad's comments that captains must not be given full authority.

''Javed has been my mentor but I sometimes don't understand what he says. When he was captain, Javed bhai wanted full control and now he is saying something else,'' he said.

''In India and Pakistan, a captain must be the boss. Because he is the man leading the team on the field. Of course, there must be healthy interaction between captain and the selectors. The rest will fall in place,'' he added.

Akram criticised the functioning of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), saying greats like Imran Khan don't get associated with the Board because of existing ad-hocism. ''For the last 7 years, there's been no system in the PCB. Ad-hocism doesn't work and that's the reason why people like Imran Khan don't want to get associated.

''In any case, Imran now is a politician first and then a cricketer.

He will not take up a post in a body that is under the Pakistan President,'' he said.

For the first time, Akram blasted former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for being high-handed in his dealings.

''Inzy definitely had become a dictator. He had obviously become very powerful. I know for a fact that Bob Woolmer and the foreign back-up staff would approach him for leave. I have seen senior PCB officials sitting at his residence and awaiting orders. These things are not good for cricket,'' Akram said.


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