Karachi: Pakistan's Cricket Board's decision of Shahid Afridi as captain in all forms of cricket, especially Test cricket has come up with sharp criticisms from former players calling it a gamble and the decision could backfire.
Former captain Zaheer Abbas was stunned by the decision and said the selectors should have given more thought on the captaincy issue.
Abbas set forth an argument that Afridi who has not had Test experience since 2006 and handing over captaincy to him for the series against England and Australia is little too much of a gamble.
"I am really surprised at the board's decision because he has not played a Test in the last four years," Abbas quoted to PTI.
"It is a strange decision and one that could badly backfire because Shahid (Afridi) has not been a regular Test player and his last Test was in 2006. So how can the board give him the captaincy for two very tough series against Australia and England," he said.
He said the Board could have delayed in making their decision till the conclusion of Asia Cup and then decide on who is fit to lead the side.
Abbas pointed out that Test cricket was unlike Twenty20 and ODIs where luck played a big part.
"Test matches are the real challenge and no player can hide his weaknesses or issues in a Test match," he said.
Former captain and ex-chief selector Aamir Sohail was equally disappointed with Afridi's appointment and said it would be tough for the 30-year-old all-rounder to lead the Pakistan in England.
"The board has taken its decision but it is a debatable one. It is a big gamble. I think Shahid (Afridi) will be really tested in England as he has been out of the Test side for four years now," Sohail said.
Sources said even Javed Mianded was also not in favour of Shahid Afridi.
However, former selector Abdul Qadir has backed Afridi's appointment and said it was a step in the right direction.