Mustaq backs Afiridi as Pakistan skipper

Published: Sunday, October 5, 2008, 11:06 [IST]
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Islamabad: Former Pakistan spinner Mushtaq Ahmed backed Shahid Afridi as the future captain of Pakistan cricket team.

Current Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik is under pressure from several corners especially after his team failed to make the final of the Asia Cup earlier this year. Malik was appointed captain last year by Nasim Ashraf, who quit the post of Pakistan Cricket Board chairman last month.

The all-rounder led Pakistan in two Test series - against Indian and South Africa - and lost both.

"I would always go with a senior player as captain," Mushtaq told pakpassion.net.

"Younis (Khan) initially refused the job, but I heard afterwards he changed his mind.

"Anyway they still had Yousuf and Afridi.

"After Younis they were the best two players to become captain."

When asked specifically if maverick all-rounder Afridi had the qualities to lead a team Mushtaq said: "Yes he does.

"Leadership is all about the ability to make tough decisions and man management, I think Afridi has good skills in those areas.

"Leadership isn't about winning the game for your team.

"It's about being able to influence others and having their confidence in your decisions.

"It's nice to have a captain who leads from the front but your best player does not necessarily make the best captain."

Mushtaq also backed coach Geoff Lawson, suggesting that the Australian needed more time at the helm.

Lawson has had a strained relationship with both the PCB and the media.

During the Asia Cup, he was forced to tender a hand-written apology after walking out of a media conference.

"You can't make a judgement like that after just one year, he's a young and unproven coach.

"He needs more time and stronger backing so that he can do his job the way he wants to do it and only then can you judge his performance.

"You can't expect a tree to give you shelter and fruit the moment you plant it.

"You need to be patient and let it grow and mature before you begin to see the results.

"Lawson needs good surroundings, he needs a local person around him who can be a good bridge between him and the players."


Read more about: shahid afridi, mustaq ahmed, pakistan, pcb
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