New Zealand v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Hamilton February 3, 2011

Waqar suggests Afridi will be World Cup captain

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Waqar Younis hinted that Shahid Afridi would be named Pakistan's captain for the World Cup following their 41 run victory over New Zealand at Seddon Park. Pakistan are the only team who have not named their captain for the tournament that starts in 17 days, and Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's Test captain, were believed to be the frontrunners for the position.

When asked whether he believed Afridi would retain the captaincy following a successful one day series in New Zealand, Waqar responded: "It's a difficult question but I think so - let's just put it that way."

Waqar had been issued a show cause notice by the PCB asking him to explain his remarks after he had claimed that it "would have been better" if the selectors had named a captain along with the final squad and that not doing so "would only lead to issues."

Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan also weighed in on the issue, backing Afridi as captain after he led the side to their first one-day series victory since 2008, claiming that Afridi "deserves to get the World Cup captaincy as a reward." The victory in Hamilton saw Pakistan take a decisive 3-1 lead in the series with one match yet to played at Eden Park on Saturday.

Both Afridi and Misbah have put in strong claims to the captaincy through a string of impressive performances in the series. Afridi has performed solidly with the ball, bowling tidy middle over spells and making crucial breakthroughs to keep New Zealand in check, while his swashbuckling 65 from 25 deliveries in Christchurch put the game out of reach of the opposition. Misbah meanwhile has notched up 203 runs in four innings at an average of 67.66 and has provided stability to the middle order. His perfectly paced 93 in Napier guided Pakistan to victory in a close run-chase and earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Waqar praised his side for their allround performance in the victory in Hamilton as the batsmen put up a competitive total and the bowlers made regular breakthroughs to keep New Zealand under pressure during their chase. "It was a very professional approach by the Pakistanis in the entire game, not only just the batting and bowling. In the field we were pretty sharp, we held our catches, we broke the partnerships, so spot on in all departments."

The series against New Zealand is the eighth bi-lateral series and twelfth one-day trophy overall since their last series win and Waqar claimed it meant a lot to the team to finally get a win on the board. It was also Pakistan's first one day series win in New Zealand since 1994. "It's been a while. We've come very close to winning series and the Asia cup recently. We played good cricket but unfortunately we didn't win anything and that's why the boys were excited and they enjoyed it. We haven't won anything for a long while in New Zealand in the one-dayers, so it's definitely pleasing for everyone."

Nineteen year old opener Ahmed Shehzad played a scintillating innings at the top for the visitors, scoring 115 from 109 balls to set up the Pakistan innings, scoring his maiden one day hundred in the process. The innings was particularly impressive for its variety of strokeplay, as Shehzad unleashed a dazzling array of shots to entertain the Hamilton crowd. Twice Shehzad scooped James Franklin over the shoulder for four with fine leg in the circle and he also made room to crash a full Scott Styris delivery over the covers. His knock also included three majestic straight sixes off Hamish Bennett.

"That's where we've been struggling; our top order hasn't been clicking," Waqar said. "Ahmed Shehzad played an outstanding knock. He took his time and he made full use of a beautiful pitch to bat on. And then the middle order and late middle order chipped in and put up partnerships."

Waqar Younis claimed Pakistan would look to wrap up the series 4-1 on Saturday to further boost the side's confidence ahead of the World Cup."It's important to keep the momentum and finish with a win so when it comes to the World Cup we are all nice and ready and pumped up."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 4, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    i am surprised to see comments on Razzaq being underutilized. I think he is fully utilized and playing his role in the strong lineup. his role is defined and is to bowl initial overs in the power play when your genuine fast bowlers are not comfortable bowling with the new ball. this gives the captain a pleasant flexibility to use strike bowlers in the middle and death overs and during the third power play which is very crucial. his batting style is suitable for no. 7/8 and any promotion in the batting order will disturb the seemingly settled batting order. you need genuine batsmen for 1-6 positions and after a long time we have been able to find all genuine batsmen for these positions thankfully getting rid of part timers like shoaib malik, afridi and razzaq who all have limitations in playing certain style of bowling.

  • tick on February 4, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    @imranyousuf and others...nz are playing at home and pakistan are playing away...both bangla and india won at their home using conditions..now take a look at the last series that bangla and india played in nz..you will see what pakistan has accomplished and records will tell you that nz are extremely strong in their small home ground..so if you don't overestimate than also don't underestimate

  • DAY.BEFORE.TOMORROW on February 4, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    THE CORNERED TIGER ROARS AGAIN. BUT DUE TO EGO CLASH AFRIDI IS BIASED AGAINST ABDUL RAZZAQ. RAZZAQ ONCE ANNOUNED RETIREMENT FROM INTERNATIONAL CRICKET DUE TO SOME DIRTY POLITICS. IF RAZZAQ IS NOT PLAYING FOR PAKISTAN IT WILL DAMPEN THE SPIRITS OF PAK'S WORLD CUP PREPARATIONS.

  • hamqad on February 4, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    @AHKA: Razzak is used according to the demands of the situation. It is not about respect. Cricket is a team game. With Afridi and Hafeez putting on the breaks, and Gul, Riaz and Akhter attacking effectively, why do you need to bowl Razzak's full quota of overs? We are there to win; not to give everyone a fair share of overs.

    Razzak plays at No. 8 because we have worked out an effective system. Razzak is an important part of that system at that very position. Yhy would you change the batting order, that has done so well in the last 3 games, just because your bowlers are doing well without Razzak having to bowl a full quota of 10?

  • on February 4, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    in my opinion afridi is not a good captain but for sake of continuity and with only 15 days left for the world cup I will go with him but for future will have to find some one else

  • AHKA on February 4, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Ahmad Asim - Well done Pakistan , but I have one question from Afridi that why he use Razzaq just 4 to 6 overs in 50 overs Game ?? if he is Part time bowler then why he bat at number 8 with bowlers ?? Afridi should respect him like a senior player , he is senior player in the side , Afridi shoul use him all 10 overs , he must belive and trust on Razzaq , Razzaq has that ability and show us in previouse. if Afridi think the can not bowl in middle overs or in last overs then Afridi should play Razzaq at 3 to 5 number and we all knows that he can bat and take the game a way from the opposit. that line used in newzealand that is great but i would like to some change like : 1) Mohammad Hafeez- 2) Ahmad Shehzad - 3) Abdur Razzaq- 4) Younis Khan- 5)Misbah Ul Haq - 6) Umar Akmal - 7) Kamran Akmal (WKt)- 8) Shahid Afridi (capt)- 9)Wahab Riaz - 10) Saeed Ajmal- 11) Shoib Akhtar 12t man Umar Gul

    Afridi is only knows just blindly hit so i perefer him at number 8 . Good Luck Pakistan

  • short_cover on February 4, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    looks like its official now....

  • rizzz86 on February 4, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    fantastic display of cricket -- afridi should retain the captaincy role

  • ArFenom_999 on February 4, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    South Africa will win this World Cup. They've got the BEST batsmen and BEST bowlers too. And on average, the best fielding too!

  • imranyousaf on February 4, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    BANGLADESH BEAT NEWZEALAND 4 -0 OR 5-0 SOME THING LIKE THAT ! SO DONT GET CARRIED AWAY !

  • on February 4, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    i am surprised to see comments on Razzaq being underutilized. I think he is fully utilized and playing his role in the strong lineup. his role is defined and is to bowl initial overs in the power play when your genuine fast bowlers are not comfortable bowling with the new ball. this gives the captain a pleasant flexibility to use strike bowlers in the middle and death overs and during the third power play which is very crucial. his batting style is suitable for no. 7/8 and any promotion in the batting order will disturb the seemingly settled batting order. you need genuine batsmen for 1-6 positions and after a long time we have been able to find all genuine batsmen for these positions thankfully getting rid of part timers like shoaib malik, afridi and razzaq who all have limitations in playing certain style of bowling.

  • tick on February 4, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    @imranyousuf and others...nz are playing at home and pakistan are playing away...both bangla and india won at their home using conditions..now take a look at the last series that bangla and india played in nz..you will see what pakistan has accomplished and records will tell you that nz are extremely strong in their small home ground..so if you don't overestimate than also don't underestimate

  • DAY.BEFORE.TOMORROW on February 4, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    THE CORNERED TIGER ROARS AGAIN. BUT DUE TO EGO CLASH AFRIDI IS BIASED AGAINST ABDUL RAZZAQ. RAZZAQ ONCE ANNOUNED RETIREMENT FROM INTERNATIONAL CRICKET DUE TO SOME DIRTY POLITICS. IF RAZZAQ IS NOT PLAYING FOR PAKISTAN IT WILL DAMPEN THE SPIRITS OF PAK'S WORLD CUP PREPARATIONS.

  • hamqad on February 4, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    @AHKA: Razzak is used according to the demands of the situation. It is not about respect. Cricket is a team game. With Afridi and Hafeez putting on the breaks, and Gul, Riaz and Akhter attacking effectively, why do you need to bowl Razzak's full quota of overs? We are there to win; not to give everyone a fair share of overs.

    Razzak plays at No. 8 because we have worked out an effective system. Razzak is an important part of that system at that very position. Yhy would you change the batting order, that has done so well in the last 3 games, just because your bowlers are doing well without Razzak having to bowl a full quota of 10?

  • on February 4, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    in my opinion afridi is not a good captain but for sake of continuity and with only 15 days left for the world cup I will go with him but for future will have to find some one else

  • AHKA on February 4, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Ahmad Asim - Well done Pakistan , but I have one question from Afridi that why he use Razzaq just 4 to 6 overs in 50 overs Game ?? if he is Part time bowler then why he bat at number 8 with bowlers ?? Afridi should respect him like a senior player , he is senior player in the side , Afridi shoul use him all 10 overs , he must belive and trust on Razzaq , Razzaq has that ability and show us in previouse. if Afridi think the can not bowl in middle overs or in last overs then Afridi should play Razzaq at 3 to 5 number and we all knows that he can bat and take the game a way from the opposit. that line used in newzealand that is great but i would like to some change like : 1) Mohammad Hafeez- 2) Ahmad Shehzad - 3) Abdur Razzaq- 4) Younis Khan- 5)Misbah Ul Haq - 6) Umar Akmal - 7) Kamran Akmal (WKt)- 8) Shahid Afridi (capt)- 9)Wahab Riaz - 10) Saeed Ajmal- 11) Shoib Akhtar 12t man Umar Gul

    Afridi is only knows just blindly hit so i perefer him at number 8 . Good Luck Pakistan

  • short_cover on February 4, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    looks like its official now....

  • rizzz86 on February 4, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    fantastic display of cricket -- afridi should retain the captaincy role

  • ArFenom_999 on February 4, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    South Africa will win this World Cup. They've got the BEST batsmen and BEST bowlers too. And on average, the best fielding too!

  • imranyousaf on February 4, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    BANGLADESH BEAT NEWZEALAND 4 -0 OR 5-0 SOME THING LIKE THAT ! SO DONT GET CARRIED AWAY !

  • gghdty on February 4, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    Very good point Sirvivfan. It is indeed a difficult situation playing all your games abroad. Considering that and the ban of 3 top performers id also say they are doing pretty well . So congratulations to everyone involved. Best wishes to Ahmed Shezad, Mohammad Hafeez,Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz and possibly Kamran Akmal. They are the present future of our team. Rest are proven stalwarts. Good job all including management.

  • AleemLatif on February 4, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    Well done Team Pakistan ... but don't forget that NZ had been beaten even by Bangladesh ... But the good thing for the team is the fact that apparently the players are jelling together well and Afridi also learnt how to APPRECIATE his team members to boost their morals for the upcoming matches ... being too sarcastic does not help as a captain ... but appropriation of team members performances would make them work more hard in the next match ... This Pakistan outfit can win World Cup if they play like a team and enjoy and support each other ... although I would like to see Mohd Amir in the Fast bowling department with Gull and Wahab ... and would like Razzak to be utilized better in bowling in the late overs too...

  • ice6430 on February 3, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    well done Pakistan now go on and win the wotrld cup for us,like when theres a controversyfor italy they alway go and win the world cup in football.Pakistan you should d the same.@ bopara aus 5 eng1 enogh said.

  • hamqad on February 3, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    @ Ravi-Bopara: I won't say our chances our slim, but i will say it is not going to be easy despite the fact that we have built a competitive unit in a very short time. We need to give the boys a pat on the back. It has not been an easy time given the off field uncertainty.

    Secondly, the fact that batsmen like Asad Shafiq are finding it hard to hold a spot in the starting 11, makes me feel that we have developed some sort of depth in batting. And I have not seen such depth since Inzi's departure. So hats off to Waqar and Afridi.

    As for bringing Yousuf back, I think he has an 'either or place' in the team with Younis. You cannot have both of them at the same time. I think Pakistan has worked out a very good system here. 3 explosive batsmen at the top. 2 in the middle to steer the innings and 3 lower down to provide impetus at the end. The line up has a stark resemblance to the one we had in 1999, although the present one is not as talented.

  • on February 3, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    guys just pray tht amir and asif could come back before world cup or specially we need one fast bowler........Inshallah Pakistan will play more we can only pray and hope for our country......as some dear friends are saying bangladesh won agianst new zeland very cleanly but u must know one thing bangladesh is not bad team now 2nd thing it happened in bangladesh....dont forget 1st match 130+ all out and then come bak is good for team

  • sirvivfan on February 3, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    WELL DONE PAKISTAN. GIVEN THE WHAT THE TEAM HAS BEEN THROUGH LATELY GOOD RESULT. PARTICULALRY PLAYING IN NEW ZEALAND IS VERY TESTING AND GOOD SIDES HAVE LOST THERE PREVIOUSLY. tHE TEAM IS COMING ALONG NICELY AN DIS THE BEST W EHAVE BARR THE PLAYERS WHO HAV EBEEN SUSPENDED. HOWEVER WE MUST MANAGE OUR EXPECTATION AND SUPPORT IN THE WC. WE NEED TO GIVE TIME TO DEVELOP AS A SETTLED TEAM. SO I DO NOT HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS BEYOND QUARTERS. FANS MUST UNDERSTAND THAT.THE FIEDLING AND ATTITUD EIS CHNAGING DRAMITCALLY AS EVIDENCED EVEN AGAINST THE SOUTH AFRICANS. NO BODY MENTIONS WAQAR. HE IS DOING A GREAT JOB, HOWEVER HE ALSO NEEDS SUPPORT AND PRIASE AND PATIENCE. HOW MANY TEAMS WOULD BE ABLE TO PLAY ALL THIER GAMES AWAY FROM HOME AND STILL PLAY OK. NO MANY. I DONT WANT TO MENTION THE OBIOVUS ONE! KEEP CONTROL OF OUR EXPECTATIONS.

  • on February 3, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    I think Pakistan still need Mohamed Yosuf he is class batsman and Pakistan will miss him in the world cup ;(

  • on February 3, 2011, 19:04 GMT

    @ AndyZaltzmannsHair : Hahaha, that gave me a good bit of laugh.

  • on February 3, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    inshallah if pak will play like that only so then pak will win a new champion of 2011 world cup

  • Adeeba on February 3, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    Afridi is the best option for captaincy....His performance in these ODIs was awesome....and as a captain too he knows how to calm down the frustrated bowlers...or get a breakthrough when the team needed it....He is a marvellous captain...excellent fielder...Great bowler...and destructive batsmen...That's awl wht we need from a captain...Luv him...Go pak and win the World Cup...Inshallah we will win...!!:))

  • D-rose on February 3, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Yeah, I expect Afridi as captain and rightfully so. Even if he wasn't the best choice, you don't change things this close to the world cup. But Afridi has proven himself this series for sure.

  • dossra on February 3, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    Well the only super star left in Pakistan team is Afridi from the 90 era. He is still fresh and kicking. I believe he has come out strong as a captain when most of the players just loose their colour when compared. Misbah is a once in a while firing bullet while Afridi is a world class baller who puts teams under pressure and when he comes out to bat. Well, most captains do not have a strategy or plan. In fact they loose their footing when ever he s on fire. keeping in mind that he is a wonderful and string character and a very bold and attacking captain, like Imran and Wasim. While Misbah is a defensive captain good for test cricket.

  • nlambda on February 3, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Hey, what about Shoaib Akhtar?

  • on February 3, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    an outstanding performance by shezad and pakistan cricket team will boost them to start world cup confidently if mohammad amir back in the squad it will be very difficult for any opponent team.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on February 3, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    REGARDLESS OF WHO PAKISTAN NAMES AS CAPTAIN, THEIR WORLD CUP HOPES LOOK VERY SLIM INDEED!!

  • on February 3, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    afridi will surely be captain of WC. he may not be the perfect to lead but in the current scenario he's the best available.. Boom Boom Pakistan !!

  • on February 3, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    Come on guys we have only beaten a team that even Bangladeshis were able to beat him so convincingly,so dont raise ur hopes up.we have long road ahead,the only two teams that we should be concern about is SA and Aus. well SA r known to demise them self when the crunch time comes, so its only the Aussies we need to worry about.

  • Zohaib.R.Q. on February 3, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    good win. i hope they dont get too complacent. it doesn't really matter who leads as long as they stick together.

  • cricket_lover25 on February 3, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    Well done Pakistan for there 1st series win for a while now. Afridi has done enough now surely to make him captain for the world cup.The whole team and country needs to back him 100% in such an important event. Pakistan have as good chance as any other county in winning the world cup. I still believe they are slightly short in the pace bowling department but they can make up for it with good spinners. The last match proved once again that the review system needs to be in place as once again Pakistan were hard done by some poor umpiring. Does any one know if the review system is being used in the WC?.

  • on February 3, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    I don't know wether he should be captain or not, but what i know is he should always have a short widwicket fielder while he is bowling himself no matter what he do with the rest of the field. He leaks so many singles in that area. rediculous

  • MRNASIR on February 3, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    I THINK PCB DID THE RIGHT THING BY NOT ANNOUNCING THE CAPTAIN OF TEAM MANY OF YOU MAY DISAGREE, BUT LOOK AT THIS WAY

    THEY FORCED AFRIDI TO COME OUT OF THE BOX AND PERFORM AT HIS BEST TO RETAIN CAPTAINCY, SO HAS AFRIDI DONE.

    AL I CAN SAY IS IF TEAM MOVES ON AS TEAM THE WC IS NOT HARD TO GAIN INSHALLAH

  • Crikiter on February 3, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    I agree with AndyZaltzmannsHair, they should not name the captain and they might win the worldcup to win the captaincy race LMAO.

  • on February 3, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    Afridi, the most deserved one, I don't see any alternative one. Go ahead S.Khan Afridi, we are looking forward to you.

  • on February 3, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Yea, we will win INSHALLAH in WC.

  • on February 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Long live pakistan ... Love u so much Pakistan .... Muahh InshAllah v r gonna win dis worldcup

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on February 3, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    They should keep everything as it is, and announce the Captain for the World Cup after the World Cup has finished. Why change a winning habit?

  • cricket_fan_1980 on February 3, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Afridi should stay captain. He is bowling well and has exactly the right energy on the field. He motivates and is inspirational. And every now and then he can come up with a truly special knock. The guy has a truckload of 50's in ODI's to prove it. Even quite a few scintillating 100's, including two very good ones just last year. This will allow Misbah to focus on strengthening the middle order, which in my opinion is a more important job than captain. We need more bowling power for the world cup, Can Umar Akmal keep instead of his brother, and we bring in Abdur Rehman? Or Tanvir Ahmed, who is hard to put away? Pakistan batting is looking good.

  • coolraoof on February 3, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    afridi deserves to be named the captian for d world cup after guiding them to first series win after 2008

  • khurramsch on February 3, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    well personaly i always said that afridi is not a very good captain, some of his bowling changes, his pre planed moves are not good BUT i am always in favour of afridi as WC captain coz misbah havent captained ODI ever so doing such 1st time experiment in big tournment is not good idea.team looks good in group so beter to stay put and anounce afridi as soon as posible.

  • on February 3, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    The Cornered Tigers maul the Kiwis

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  • on February 3, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    The Cornered Tigers maul the Kiwis

  • khurramsch on February 3, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    well personaly i always said that afridi is not a very good captain, some of his bowling changes, his pre planed moves are not good BUT i am always in favour of afridi as WC captain coz misbah havent captained ODI ever so doing such 1st time experiment in big tournment is not good idea.team looks good in group so beter to stay put and anounce afridi as soon as posible.

  • coolraoof on February 3, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    afridi deserves to be named the captian for d world cup after guiding them to first series win after 2008

  • cricket_fan_1980 on February 3, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    Afridi should stay captain. He is bowling well and has exactly the right energy on the field. He motivates and is inspirational. And every now and then he can come up with a truly special knock. The guy has a truckload of 50's in ODI's to prove it. Even quite a few scintillating 100's, including two very good ones just last year. This will allow Misbah to focus on strengthening the middle order, which in my opinion is a more important job than captain. We need more bowling power for the world cup, Can Umar Akmal keep instead of his brother, and we bring in Abdur Rehman? Or Tanvir Ahmed, who is hard to put away? Pakistan batting is looking good.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on February 3, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    They should keep everything as it is, and announce the Captain for the World Cup after the World Cup has finished. Why change a winning habit?

  • on February 3, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Long live pakistan ... Love u so much Pakistan .... Muahh InshAllah v r gonna win dis worldcup

  • on February 3, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Yea, we will win INSHALLAH in WC.

  • on February 3, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    Afridi, the most deserved one, I don't see any alternative one. Go ahead S.Khan Afridi, we are looking forward to you.

  • Crikiter on February 3, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    I agree with AndyZaltzmannsHair, they should not name the captain and they might win the worldcup to win the captaincy race LMAO.

  • MRNASIR on February 3, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    I THINK PCB DID THE RIGHT THING BY NOT ANNOUNCING THE CAPTAIN OF TEAM MANY OF YOU MAY DISAGREE, BUT LOOK AT THIS WAY

    THEY FORCED AFRIDI TO COME OUT OF THE BOX AND PERFORM AT HIS BEST TO RETAIN CAPTAINCY, SO HAS AFRIDI DONE.

    AL I CAN SAY IS IF TEAM MOVES ON AS TEAM THE WC IS NOT HARD TO GAIN INSHALLAH