Osman Samiuddin
Sportswriter at the National

Don't blame Afridi

What was the board thinking by appointing as captain a player who hadn't played a Test in four years, to lead one of Pakistan's most inexperienced sides?

Osman Samiuddin

July 19, 2010

Comments: 99 | Text size: A | A

Shahid Afridi trains on the eve of the Asia Cup, Dambulla, June 14, 2010
Afridi's resignation and Butt's promotion could actually be good for Pakistan cricket © AFP

Shahid Afridi did not appoint himself captain of Pakistan's Test side. He was asked to take over by the PCB. At the time, there were suggestions that the Test comeback was a prerequisite to him retaining the captaincy of the ODI and Twenty20 sides - the implication being that he was pressured into it. Subsequently, Afridi, a straightish talker when he wants to be, hardly hid his reluctance over the task at hand.

So the first questions flung after this latest inevitable, but thankfully brief, self-defeat must be at the board. In pushing a man who had not played Tests for four years, a man who wasn't really ever a Test cricketer, a man whose place in the Test XI wasn't guaranteed, to lead a side with 249 Tests worth of experience between them, against two of the strongest teams around, in alien conditions, what was the thinking?

Maybe they looked at his Test average (before the Lord's Test) and concluded that as it was higher than Nasser Hussain's and Hansie Cronje's and fractionally lower than Michael Atherton's, he must be all right. Maybe they really are as simple as that, even if that is to credit at least one among them with the knowhow to use Statsguru.

The only conclusion that can be reached from their choice is that they have no clue of the game they purport to govern. They have the vision of bats; the thinking, of how to develop a side, how to nurture a game, how to identify talent, how to run a business, is remarkably empty. Afridi should never have been approached to lead the Test side. Malcolm Speed was blunt about the PCB, but that was his only fault.

The board line was that there was no other option. That was, in any case, arguable; if it was true, it was only because the PCB had engineered the situation such. Since 2009, in fact, the one thing the board has done consistently is to not show any spine in standing by their captains. If, as the administration, you oversee one change in captaincy, you can be forgiven. Two looks careless. Beyond that - and Ijaz Butt's men have now overseen four in less than 18 months - clearly no one has the slightest clue. They don't seem to care much either.

So to blame Afridi for taking it on - and now leaving it - is to misplace frustration. Few turn down the captaincy, and he did it with good intentions. It was, in one sense, a brave decision, to take on such a shattered, divisive group of individuals, after such a beating, in a format you're not familiar with. The bravest move might have been to recognise your limitations and turn it down, but that is to be expected only from the biggest men.

If, as the administration, you oversee one change in captaincy, you can be forgiven. Two looks careless. Beyond that - and Ijaz Butt's men have now overseen four in less than 18 months - and clearly no one has the slightest clue

And over four days in the field, he didn't look that bad as captain. He attacked, handled his bowlers mostly well, got his fields mostly right, and oversaw Pakistan's safest fielding performance in years. He is not the first Pakistan captain to lose a Test to Australia.

He batted irresponsibly? Much better batting captains of Pakistan have done worse, most recently Mohammad Yousuf in the Sydney run-chase. Afridi's batting, of course, was a problem and its true effectiveness in this format lay long ago, in the type of innings Bob Woolmer squeezed out of him: the madcap opening bursts in Bangalore and Kolkata in 2004-05, which were potential game-breakers. And even those were controlled circumstances, where the surfaces weren't spicy, and he batted with the luxury of knowing Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan could clean up most messes behind him.

But Afridi was honest about it, even if the affair retained the calculated charm of the brand Afridi: "Me? I only know how to hit sixes and I can't do that for five days." He knew he was a weak link in the side and he moved on. Wanting to ensure that his limited-overs leadership is not sullied by five-day misery will also have been a less than selfless calculation. He could have handled it far better: resigning and retiring minutes after one Test defeat smacks of panicked, chaotic defeatism. But typically, in the contrary ways Pakistan cricket works, his absence should strengthen the side.

Now, Salman Butt. His name has come up before in this kind of talk, which doesn't say much in Pakistan other than that he has been around long enough (seven years nearly) and been dropped often enough (seven times in 28 Tests). The immediate fear is that he is being burdened just when he is finally becoming the opening batsman that Pakistan have needed more than anything. Another is of the momentary lapses in concentration, evident in soft dismissals when set, or poor catching or bad running. He is also his country's fifth youngest captain and young captains have never had it good in Pakistan, though that he has mostly young men around him might help.

But there are good things. To make eight comebacks and not be broken suggests some resilience. It is also something that he does best against the two toughest opponents a Pakistani batsman can come across: Australia and India. Above all has been his reconfiguration for the Twenty20 format, among the most significant acts of self-improvement by any Pakistani batsman since Yousuf's 2006 transformation.

And on the field, he has materials and men to work with. Off it he has nothing.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by   on (July 22, 2010, 23:48 GMT)

My fellow pakistani pls let system work and try to let players make a decision and board should do there job.We changed players and Captain like nothing.What happen to our people why they are like that.How the system will work when old guard still there.Let young energitic should be there not same old people.Worlds sports need pakistan.But we should look it ourselves we have everything to benefit our nation.So many overseas pakistani like to help pakistan.But all we feel insecure.From North to South and East to West.we have every thing.Lets we stand for each others.Where ever we came from to Pakistan.Pls love pakistan and take care of our Nation

Posted by Anneeq on (July 21, 2010, 22:36 GMT)

I dont think many people have a problem with Afridi resigning captaincy, there is a problem with the timing tho. He should have resigned after the tour of England at least. I personally dont think he should have resigned as a player he has a lot still to give to Pk. Even if he isnt the greatest of test players, his bowling is very useful and his fielding is even better. He isnt as bad as he and everyone thinks he is. Averages do also matter, thats how u get selection into a team, so i dont see why thats being dismissed as a useless criteria. He was actually a far better captain than MoYo, anyone is really. But in the test stage u have to lead by example, Afridi cant do that with the bat so fair play.

Posted by gonie on (July 20, 2010, 20:55 GMT)

Osman... what were you thinking when you wrote words "board and thinking" together ?

Posted by RUQQ on (July 20, 2010, 20:47 GMT)

I am not blaming afridi for playing test cricket, for loosing match against Australia. Pakistan loosing test against Australia since Nov 1999 continuously. Last Test when Pakistan finished as winner against Australia was way back in 1995.

This is what happen when we are making some one hero while they are zero. PCB ask Shahid to captain because he is the senior most player available at the time. And if the senior most player just making excuses because he don't want to change his style. He should have to be ashamed on himself and will never talk about patriotism and saying that I want to play for Pakistan.

Posted by pakistaniblood on (July 20, 2010, 19:34 GMT)

Afridi should have been more patient and come back in next test match. He did not loose this match. It was whole batting side with around 30 averages that collapsed and always collapses and will continue to fail in future as expected but PCB does not want to do enough. It is PCB responsible for another loss led by Ijjaz Butt who did not purge out continuously failing players like Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik and Salmanl. THere are so many players in 1st class with 50 plus batting averages in 1st class but never get chances. When Pakistan team visited New Zealand and Australia last season, every body knew that Pakistan will loose owing to poor selection and they lost 5 tests in aus but PCB blamed to palyers indisciple etc., to find escape for themselves. I pray that Imran Farhat is not in next match and is replaced by Yasir Hameed.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2010, 19:06 GMT)

Hi Osman Samiuddin, I haven't read your whole article but just read few lines, but I want to tell you something about the decision of making Afridi the captain, in my opinion it was good decision, because captain is not just about how well you play, you need to have positive mind to lead team with aggressive sort of attitude, in history all good teams had a captain like that, I meant aggressive in thinking to win, more eager to win, an active person who is keen to talk to team mates in every delivery they ball, a world cup winner, all these quality did exisit in Shahid Afridi, but not everything works as you planned, sometimes people do make mistakes, I think he shouldnt retire, some day he can become really good test or any format captain, we will win... But now we are back to square one, I hope Salman have same attitude toward the game, he looked determine while batting but lets see how much he is???

Posted by nataraajds on (July 20, 2010, 14:39 GMT)

loosing a test match against Australia is not a big thing, it's part of the game..but composition of team, selection of caption is important. for just one defet ,Afridi risign and reitre from test cricket ,that too in mid-tour shows Afridi is just incapable to handle captaincy preasure & not fit to play test cricket.

Posted by Pak-cricket on (July 20, 2010, 13:20 GMT)

PLEASE give A chance To Yasir Hameed in the second test He is much better than Imran Farhat ,,,,,,

Posted by veeezel on (July 20, 2010, 12:06 GMT)

I agree with mr osman.Pcb has made us all Pakistani 's to look fool in front of the world.Australian cricket board never made shane warne captain of australia even he proved on the field how good a captain materieal he was,other example is andrew symond ,great player he is, but no one is bigger then the game itsellf, our board biggest crime is they could not convey this massege to the players long time ago and now they have lost control of the situation and they have no idea how to come out of that either.I can not see situation gets any better under this regime.

Posted by Greencourt on (July 20, 2010, 9:43 GMT)

I've got to say this is fascinating stuff. I'm a great admirer of Younis, and have wondered for months what the dynamics were behind his hard times. Kamran Akmal has to be the worst international wicketkeeper I have ever seen, and has been since the first time I saw him in a test. He just hasn't improved, yet he is an ever-present. Surely Pakistan can do better than him? No doubt there are all sorts of political connotations to all this, but any explanation would be gratefully received!

Posted by sirfali on (July 20, 2010, 9:03 GMT)

I think this incident is only part of a bigger issue pakistan cricket has, which is political groups inside the team, younis khan and yousuf were removed from the team by the other group of led by shoaib malik, kamran akmal and board supported shoaib malik group over yousuf and younis khan. all this is nothing do with the cricket and about knowledge of cricket , it was all about which group wants to control the team. if they bring back younis and yousuf ,the existing group and their backers will be in problem so lets see. shahib afridi is not innocent, he should not have accepted captaincy without younis and yousuf in team if he wanted a good team for the country. he tried without them and when he failed ,he retired under pressure without even informing the board. now they have made salman butt captain who is still no permanent place in the team. this game is on in team for last 30 years and will carry on like this, unless people start thinking for the country first.

Posted by Sadiaas on (July 20, 2010, 8:26 GMT)

That's right throw akmal brothers out of team n u will see good results very soon. In first test both brothers got out in the same manner,as we expect from a player like Afrid..they just tried to pressurize Afridi that who r you to blame us for those stupid shots,when u urself is not performing.same they did against Yousaf in Australia. The problem is that we pakistanis n cricket fans in the world over-exaggerated their talent n class.(either we over-criticize or over-praise) infact they r playing only for themselves. You would've noticed that kamran akmal does nothing,when other partner is playing well,he just waits for dismissal of his partner then starts his heroics. Mostly he drops chances or if ever with the blessing of God,he does any good effort,the way he behaves or acts like an actor( putting his gloves on mouth n watching at ground screen) shows how much he is involved in match n how much in modeling. I don't say that his career should b finished,but just To give him a lesson

Posted by dr_salman on (July 20, 2010, 7:11 GMT)

PCB so far ve shown wat a bunch of comedians they really are..but i ve one solution...is it necessary that afridi MUST play in tests as a captain?? he shd b kept in the test squad for this test series in england...he can always be tried as a player...cz wen u mak him the captain, he has to be in the side no matter what...he shd b kept in the test squad n tried off n on...may b he discovers some form in tests as well..

Posted by   on (July 20, 2010, 6:06 GMT)

Few days back Afridi said "It should be given to him 3-4 years back." What happened to him all of sudden. Basically he is not a test player. In his first test he got failed. Look, how he is saying his body is not supporting him........

Stemless Shahid Arrogant Afridi.... Who eat leather balls........ What else you can expect from him....

Posted by dmqi on (July 20, 2010, 4:30 GMT)

I told you before and I am telling it again : As long as Shoeb Malik and Kmran Akaml will be in the team, Pakistan will not be able to play and win. Just get rid of these two players and bring back the two Y's, you will see a dramatic change. Batsmen will get confidence and they will stay in the crease. What a joke that after months of permutation-combination you have presented a joker Captain with a bunch of new players against the most formidable opponents. Everyone cautioned last month before the game, but the dull heads did not listen. How interesting, the common people can see the outcome before the match but the selectors can't see. Remember Waker's comment," I am thrilled that Afridi is the Captain". So many Pak supporters were thrilled too. But we knew it will be a whitewash against both Aus and England. If you want to save face, bring the two Y's back against England with an apology from PCB to the players and spectators.

Posted by gmcan on (July 20, 2010, 3:35 GMT)

i like vivek's idea...make kamran captain and his brother vice captain....and i think he has a couple of more brothers, get them in the team too....i am sure he has some cousins who would be delighted to be in the team as well. as long as they have two hands and legs they would do (of course their last name should be akmal)..... then there will no need for the selectors, coaches and pcb...

PS: i am quite impressed by pcb and pak board...earlier they used to wait for the series to be over before getting rid of the captain, now they do it after one match....remarkable progress. here is another brilliant idea....have a different captain for each match....that way everyone will be happy...or maybe have 11 captains...problem solved...i am a genius....i should be in pcb!!!!

Posted by Cricfan27 on (July 20, 2010, 3:25 GMT)

Many people say test cricket is boring. But the real cricket is the test cricket. However I do not want to give anybody any Knowledge. I just want to say, if such an entertainer cricketer like Afridi departs from Test cricket,Then the taste of test is gone. Afridi always says that he plays for the people. And I believe he is a great ad/publicity for the game. Why is he not considering ..... We spectators are simply deprived.

Posted by nskaile on (July 20, 2010, 2:33 GMT)

ALL the ppl who are syaing thinsg like "HE DOESN'T have temperment for test" or HE IS HONEST AND LEFT WHEN HE FELT WAS RIGHT. well let me tell/ASk u all one thing. Have any of u seen Sehwag, Gillchrist, Dilshan playing TEST MATCH? They are more brutal then BOOM BOOM any day and always ALWAYS play their shots in test and go nutssss. So making excuse like OH HE DOESNT HAVE TEMPERAMENT fo test is BULL. 2ed thing, its not like he dint knw wht test cricket is like. If PCB showed faith in him, he should have played few more test matchs and see if he can DO SOMTHING FOR HIS COUNTRY which he always talk about. Isnt he supose to give courage to his whole team about HOW EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE FAITH IN THE TEAM AND WORK HARD? but THE GREAT AFRIDI RAN AWAY as soon he saw its getting tough. Osman i love ur blogs and ur my fav on cricinfo so im bit disppointed after reading this one from you. im not sure if u gonna read this one but i hope u do and tell me if im wrong in all the things i said. thaks

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (July 20, 2010, 2:11 GMT)

@dinster 77 - one flaw with your plan. There is no way Pakistan will escape with a draw against the Aussies unless bad weather intervenes. The Aussies are clearly have teh edge over the Pakistanis in every aspect of the game.

Posted by landl47 on (July 19, 2010, 22:47 GMT)

Pakistan's batting is so weak that I doubt there was anything that Afridi could have done to change the result. However, when you accept the position of captain, you are accepting the responsibility of setting an example to the side. Afridi made no attempt to do that. He just threw the bat at the ball as if he was playing a T20 game. Mike Brearley was a player who wasn't up to test class as a batsman. Nevertheless, as a captain he never shirked his duty to set an example. He tried as hard as he could and made sure everyone else did, too. As a result, he was one of England's most successful captains. The problem with Afridi was not that he wasn't good enough. It was that he wasn't willing to put the team before himself.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (July 19, 2010, 21:26 GMT)

POOR SALMAN. Sooner or later Afridi will tell his story. It will be about Shoaib Malik and the Akmal brothers; and their part in the lost cause at Lords. Afridi played with fire too early when he kept Shoaib out and that too as 12th man. The moment I saw Shoaibs name in the squad, I could see a turbulent tour in the making. Another Pathan gave it up to save his integrity instead of choosing a diplomatic path to keep it going for a while. I think Ponting describes it best when he said that he couldn't figure it out, what happend over night when Afridi had just spoken on previous day that how much he was enjoying it. 3 person are destroying Pakistan cricket because of undue backing, Ijaz Butt, Shoaib Malik and Yawer Saeed. SAID ALL THIS, I must say I don't agree with Mr. Osman on all counts. Though for me Afridi had no place in a test team but when he had taken it on him than he, being a mature person, should have gone on until end of the tour.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 21:07 GMT)

Who blame Afridi? Why you use this headings???

Posted by dinster77 on (July 19, 2010, 20:49 GMT)

Osman - I think you're commenting on this too soon. Here's how I predict the events to come..

1. Yousuf is included as vice captain for the 2nd test.Pakistan salvages a hard fought draw.Salman Butt is hailed the savior of the country's hopes. 2. Pakistan lose the following test badly. Salman Butt & others are accused of match fixing and are found guilty without an investigation. Everyone banned for a year. Yousuf retires. 3. Within 7 days of the ban, all bans and fines are revoked based on a democratic investigation and the board opens its arms to all players that have ever been banned. 4. Younis khan becomes captain again. Pakistan loses next test match and Younis is sacked. Mohammed aamer becomes the youngest player to captain pakistan and is now the 17 th player in 8 months to be named captain. Yousuf unretires again and is now to ready to take up any role in the side including captaincy.

Posted by rs1681 on (July 19, 2010, 20:29 GMT)

PCB would make a good COMEDY CIRCUS...lol

Posted by willsrustynuts on (July 19, 2010, 18:47 GMT)

I am really enjoying reading your articles and this piece is no exception.

In all honesty it is truly remarkable that we are able to watch Pakistan and Australia play test cricket in England in July. To the neutral it is pleasing to see that Pakistan is able of fielding some capable talent, I hope they manage to rally for the next game.

Regards Afridi, I believe you're right that we should not be too harsh towards him in this instance. His 'self defeat' was so predictable that the inevitable crash brought not the anticipated mirth but instead a sense of pity or maybe embarrassment?

I have really enjoyed watching Butt bat but as you say his innings have been too few and too short. No idea how much captaincy experience he has? If he pulls it off we can look forward to watching that attractive stroke play for a few more years to come.

I hope your hunch about the resilient nature proves to be right.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 18:27 GMT)

I think PCB continuously pressurising players more n more, any player takes time to settle down once he has not been playing some format for so long time i.e.4 yrs. Definately Wasim & Waqar said they took time to back in rythem after being out for sometimes, so afridi wud have been played few test then he wud have decided, certainly out put wud not have been like this. He just kept his place in shorter format because if he looses both of test series then he must b facing facts like yousuf/younis. Now back to this new team, if PCB & Pak fan wan them to win each test so far its not possible because its younger team & it ll take time, there's none in the middle order having more then 50 avg, for strong batting line up there shud be 2/3 players having avg above 50.

Posted by reality_check on (July 19, 2010, 18:25 GMT)

I am no fan of PCB and I believe PCB big wigs have done more to harm Pak cricket then any other factor, BUT, you cannot absolve Afridi by simply saying "oh he was offered the captaincy by PCB so it's not his fault". Rubbish!! He is not a two year old who is guiltless for spilling a glass of milk. He knew what test cricket is otherwise he would not have retired from it 4 years back. His brutal honesty may be a blessing in disguise but that should not be in any way dubbed as his strength in this scenario. He got away by taking a bite out of the kookaboora, before that he got away with tampering the pitch. All those sixes and fours and boom boom and all that is not worth all the headache the guy brings. Relegate him to just 20/20 as an ordinary player but PCB will once again find a way to bring Afridi to the limelight and once again he will fall into something and on and on we go.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (July 19, 2010, 17:35 GMT)

Afridi is a true Pathan like Younis. When he felt he failed as captain, he resigned. Period. None of the batsmen, except openers Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, and Yasir Hameed has test temperament. The Y's should be brought back, and the Akmal brothers need to go. Too much politics and very little test results from them.

Posted by rick333 on (July 19, 2010, 17:01 GMT)

"Shahid Afridi did not appoint himself captain of Pakistan's Test side. He was asked to take over by the PCB" (Is there a instance of captiain appointing himself ?!?!?!?)

When the author opens the article with the above lines, he loses credibility.One would think that this article is from defence attorney of Afridi trying to justify Afridi's decision and to deflect the heat on to some one else....

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 16:58 GMT)

@Vilander: Ever heard of 'sarcasm'? ... ... ... Apart from that ... By now, we should all be in agreement that the ICC and PCB compete for the stupidity crown. ... Here's a typical example of PCB's stupidity. ... Mohammad Yousuf says, "_filhal_ I am retired". PCB replies, "That's ok. _filhal_ you are banned for life." :-)

Posted by asifansari on (July 19, 2010, 16:44 GMT)

Lets get over it.... i don't blame Afridi or PCB... PCB didn't ask Afridi to take captain-ship on a gunpoint... neither Afridi asked for it... In my opinion, Afridi couldn't sustain the constant pressure he was going through... enough was enough and he called it a day. We should respect his decision and just give him a break.

Lets buck-up Salman Butt and pray for his success... both as a batsman and as Captain!

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

Ejaz butt should be fired

Posted by mautan on (July 19, 2010, 16:23 GMT)

I honestly feel that Afridi is taking an easy way out. The reason being that if he had to feels that he does not have the temperament for tests..than what does he think of ODI and T20? He has a much, much better avg in Tests ( 36+) with 5 hundreds in just 27 tests..not to mention he has more than 40-50 wickets at around 35! He infact would qualify as one of the best allrounders in test match cricket playing currently!!!. The guys is talking nonsense..if he had to retire it had to be ODI and T2O where is is pretty useless with avgs of less than 23.. Afridi, Afridi.. do you really think people buy into this nonsense of 'temperament' after 5 hundreds in 27 tests at 36?? It is anybody'd guess why Afridi is leaving test match cricket,actually as stats prove, he is an excellent test match player...anybody want to guess?? Let me guess...can it be money available in T20 or ODI????? The guy is available for Hampshire now..what about the side strain???????? Feel sorry for Pak cricket.

Posted by Azmat_Siddiqui on (July 19, 2010, 16:18 GMT)

Afridi is not a baby. When he accepted to be captain, he should have continured for this tour. The problem is we lack discipline. There was a more dignigied way of exiting as a captain. Afridi is not a batsman. He doesn't know how to stay on the wicket. He knows only one of way of batting, hit out or get out. This approach may work ocassionally. Most of the time it adds pressure on your own team. If Afridi can't stay on the wicket, he should be thrown out of Pakistani team.

Azmat Siddiqui, Canada

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 16:14 GMT)

I think this is a honest decision.Afridi is for limited overs.Pakistan need some experienced players now.Salman butt and Kamran akmal should influence the youngsters.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 16:13 GMT)

@ bharat74 nice comment lls! if only ejaz butt announces hes retired then just then will pakistan will have a victory against the aussies for now pakistan just good luck the PCB needs to change then pakistan cricket will change too

Posted by McGorium on (July 19, 2010, 15:57 GMT)

Now, it's convenient to make him a victim, but he was well aware of his inability to play test cricket 4 years ago (which is why he retired, right?). Even if he was pressurized by the board, he could have either refused, or seen the test series vs Aus through before quitting. What does all of this tell you about his temperament? This man is still the captain of the ODI and T20 team. Doesnt this undercut his authority when he demands 100 percent out of his players? What does it say of his ability to stick by his men, through thick and thin? Captains must lead by example, not only with the bat/ball, but also in character. Perhaps the latter is slightly more important, for all have failures. I personally felt Afridi should've never gotten the captaincy after the ball-biting incident; he couldn't be trusted to control himself, so how could he lead 11 men? He was made captain because there was nobody else. Even if Younis is brought back and made skipper, who knows if he'll resign yet again?

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 15:52 GMT)

Afridi was a misfit in test cricket and we all know that including Afridi; I think this is a good decision based on the fact that now Afridi will be able to concetrate more on his batting and his captaincy in Limited overs cricket. Lawson was right about Malik being the obvious choice; my choice would be Misbah and God's someone bring Yousuf back in test cricket and ODi'S. Pakistan lacks serious batting power and MIsbah and Yousuf can add very valuable experience in that area. To be frank, right now Pakistan lacks leadership, experience and skill.I hope that captaincy doesnt kill Afridi's career as it has done in the past for all the captains after Imran Khan. Pakistan cricket board has a tendency to overlook talent and this is what they are doing to Misbah and Imran Nazir. Pakistan has been in a losing streak and with such mentality I dont see their future getting any brigher.

Posted by Afridian on (July 19, 2010, 15:52 GMT)

If a well-balanced team produces a match-winner Test player in Afridi, then i find it absurd to not include Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan in a side lead by Afridi which would mean not 2 but three potential match winners and a stronger batting line-up.

I agree completely with Wasim Akram as well that it was wrong to blame Afridi for the defeat and the only reason was the inexperienced team.

I again agree with Imran Khan since he still wants Afridi to take up Test Captaincy when he insists...Afridi should take on the captaincy challenge!

Posted by Imad_K on (July 19, 2010, 15:52 GMT)

Seriously people blame the PCB but I don't see many of the Pakistani fans etc themselves say much different. To regard Afridi as some kind of Test batsmen is a complete and utter joke. What is Afridi - nothing but a slogger. Ask any batsman in the world to bat like he does and they will also score runs quickly once in 50 games. Is that what people know and thing cricket is - just one big slog. Afridi should only play T20 if anything. When Afridi bats he can get out to every single ball he faces whether good or bad - there is no sense of any kind of reliability in his batting no matter what the circumstance is. You would think that if the guy is so talented why doesn't he take his time, spend time at the crease, hit the bad ball etc. There are other batsmen who score quick as well - U Akmal, A Gilchrist, Shewag etc. They don't swing wildly at every single ball that is bowled to them. Afridi should take up baseball.

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (July 19, 2010, 15:50 GMT)

It was a brave decision and probably the correct one, but Afridi should probably have waited until the end of the series. Leaving mid-way will tend to disrupt the plans and also the balance. With him gone, the 5-bowler attack is reduced to 4 which means increased burden on the rest. The ideal choice would be: Younis Khan for Azhar Ali, Mohd. Yousuf for Umar Amin and Shoaib Malik/Razzaq for Afridi.

Posted by Afridian on (July 19, 2010, 15:48 GMT)

...continuation...Only the 'Spirit of Pak Team' (as Ricky Ponting called Afridi recently) will be missing. Only if Board could allow these 3 to play together!

With so much presurre, Afridi realised that it was going to affect him as a Captain in ODIs and T/20s also.......so the situation that 'Whispering soul' very clearly described was created around him that eventually forced him to put the blame on himself and call it a day!

I'm amazed his Avg. in Tests is higher than Nasser Hussain's and Hansie Cronje's and fractionally lower than Michael Atherton's...and we know he's played some beautiful Test Cricket against Test Giants like Australia and India and won us matches on...so Usman Samiuddin will have to do better to prove Afridi is not a Test material.

Posted by Shahiq on (July 19, 2010, 15:43 GMT)

Well, to me thats a biased article ... The blame should be shared , first of all ... If Afridi would have had felt uncomfortable, he shouldnt have accepted ... BTW, if am not wrong, the same was the case for Yousuf na ?? He didnt asked for captaincy, he was given when noone else was willing ... And see, what he got !!! Secondly , you can in no way compare Afridi's innings to what Yousuf plyed at Sydney , & being the Pak editor of Cricinfo, I thought you must be possesing this much of Cricket knowlegde ... Comparing these two innigs is just like a 5 year old Afridi fan .. What Yousuf played was some elgant off drives, nothing rash .. But what Afridi played, was not just rash, but vulgar !!! And m not the only one saying that, he himself admitted ... So frustrated to read such a piece from Osman Samiuddin ... Khair, chorro ...

Posted by Imad_K on (July 19, 2010, 15:38 GMT)

Like I've always said Afridi should never be playing test cricket and I'm surprised he has an high average for a slogger. Mind you he has only played 27 Tests. Personally I wouldn't play Afridi in ODI either - he has played 296 one days and averages 24. Anyone in the world can see what kind of player Afridi is from watching him play. To me Afridi is just a slogger - who can be out six times in an over so comparing him to one run chase by M Yousuf which went wrong is daft. Batsmen are people like M Yousuf, Y Khan, Inzi etc. I promise you the first time I saw S Butt play he scored 0 but even seeing him play a couple of shots he looked like a good batsman. Playing the ball in line and unfortunately edging the ball. S Butt is a good batsman with a good temperament. Unlike other Pakistani batsmen he doesn't give his wicket away playing stupid shots or getting out playing the same shot 20 times like some previous Pakistani openers.

Posted by Afridian on (July 19, 2010, 15:32 GMT)

It was interesting to read more ideas about Afridi being a Test player.

However, i do not agree with him...I think Afridi is an ENORMOUS TALENT as suggested by Imran Khan on Afridi's sudden retirement.

I think if Afridi was given some space to build up his temprament, we would have a known match-winner in our Test side. Sadly, he was too burdened with an inexperienced, low-morale with past 12 defeats still haunting them, side at hand. Yet he did well as a Captain.

What was wrong was not giving him Younis and Yousuf.....now finally PCB realizes that! If the Board wasn't going to give him a Team (with all due respect to our youngsters who tried hard) that was tough enough to beat the Australianz and the English side...there was no point in retaining Captaincy if two great batsmen were missing out on Cricket because of his presence. MY and YK would have helped him as a batsman also. Well, now atleast all doors are open for them....continued...

Posted by tfjones1978 on (July 19, 2010, 14:57 GMT)

Pakistan is in free fall with the political events in pakistan over the past few years. Pakistan Cricket Team should play more matches against the likes of Bangladesh, Ireland, Zimbarbwe and Afganistan.

Pakistan could easily host International matches in Pakistan against some of these teams. Afganistan political situation is much worse then Pakistan is. It would make more sense for Pakistan to play against teams that would be advantaged by playing against them.

It will also allow the PCB and Pak team some time to readjust after the tormoil of recent years and be able to recompose their team.

With regularly beating the minnows Pak will be in a position to have a composed, experienced team that is ready to take on the major 5 teams in the world again.

Its time for a multi-tier system. ICC, give struggling teams a chance by scheduling matches against easier teams to build the teams confidence whilst giving composed upcoming teams more experienced against a traditional team.

Posted by Vilander on (July 19, 2010, 14:43 GMT)

"Maybe they looked at his Test average (before the Lord's Test) and concluded that as it was higher than Nasser Hussain's and Hansie Cronje's and fractionally lower than Michael Atherton's,..may be they really are as simple as that" - seems like you are tying to make a point but, you are being safe by saying that the pak selectors thought in that way and are being silly by doing that...ok so whats your point really Afridi is better than Nasser and Hansie ?

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 14:42 GMT)

Spot on Osman. Captaincy is far too great an honor , for someone to reject. Though, i have been a strong supporter of Afridi's legitimacy as skipper of the national team, his once again immediate retirement may be a blessing in disguise. I do not agree with several comments about Salman Butt losing his form under the new responsibility, his first and ultimate job is to keep on scoring runs, and he has more steel than what little people give him credit for.

After all, certain far more educated captains have had more success than lesser fortunate souls. Its literally literary. All the best to Pakistan Greens, whomever they play under.

Posted by cric_freak88 on (July 19, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

nice article mr osman ..

blv me we need more optimist writers like u ..

all the pessimistic former players and media is already saying that pakistan will go downhill from now on ..

nice to see something positive come out from cricinfo ..

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 14:07 GMT)

What we are missing here is the root cause of all this.I agree with Osman that Salman has resilience you need in Cricket today, t20 to oneday and then to Test. So we give Slaman that credit, but is his position in Test a sealed thing, answer is No, so why make him a captain. Problem is not in Salman, Afridi, Younis and others, problem is in PCB. We fix PCB and rest will follow, Ijaz Butt is oblivious of what's going around in the field and off the field, What was wrong with Younis? Why is he not in Test team? you ban the guy against whom every one ganged up?....It is the Board that needs to be fixed first....

Posted by GoldenAsif on (July 19, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

A vintage Osman Samiuddin but I am not sure if I entirely agree with him - Osman is almost exempting Afridi from blame - because even if he was pushed into it by the board, Afridi should never have accepted test captaincy in the first place knowing his limitations with the bat and his temperament. That was stupid of him all along

Posted by Venkat_Super_11 on (July 19, 2010, 13:31 GMT)

Even though I am a great fan of Mr.Boom Boom, his resigning from the test cricket is good for PCB and himself and also for the ICC. I am saying ICC because it costs at least one ball less for a match as he can't bite th ball anymore. (No offense meant to Afridi. He is such a talented and a solo match winner)

Posted by kapilesh23 on (July 19, 2010, 12:58 GMT)

lol bharat74 what a comment .

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 12:51 GMT)

I agree with Osman's take on the situation. Afridi is not exactly the" bad guy" in this case.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 12:16 GMT)

I am Indian. But frankly speaking I am a big fan of Afridi.

I think he is the one who can lift this poor pakistani team. However he has let the entire team down. In fact he has let entire Pakistan down.

If I were the PCB Chairman. I would have sought explanation to this. Afridi was aware of every thing. He knew exactly what he was doing when he took over captancy.

Its ridiculous to announce retirement in the middle of such an important team. How could he do this?

How can some body respect such a captain who has let everyone down when team is going through bad patch ?

I seek an answer from Afridi.

Posted by gravapine on (July 19, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

For me this is a wrong decision. Any player who has played his last test 4 years back would take time to get into his groove. He has got 5 hundreds and 8 50's to his name. He should have played few more tests and spent sometime in the middle. He is just lack of confidence. Of course he doesn't need to change his game completely. He can play few shots in the beginning. You play Rahul Dravid who has got 10000+ runs in ODI's in an ODI he would take few games to settle down.

I also feel that it is also got to do with the insecurity about his place in the team. If he fails in tests then people will point to him.

Posted by atif.isb on (July 19, 2010, 11:51 GMT)

I really don't now why every one's shouting at Afridi. He has stepped down from captaincy so what? Why to force him? And this is not gonna effect team's performance, its already at its lowest. One thing which really astonishes me is the joy and jubilation which travels through every heart and mind on the "other side" of the border whenever anything happens here. It really seems some body did get a good chance to speak his heart out, hehehhehe

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

We need more of Afridi. The guy is the 'Character' in Cricket. I was reading Aamer Sohail's comment that Shahid has let Pakistani cricket down. Come on; you let Pakistani cricket down the moment he missed bashing an innocuos Prasad delivery to Neptune; and Rameez Raja lets cricket down in general with bad hair and bad commentary anyway.

Hopefully he is still the captain of the ODI and Shivajinagar gully cricket (oops t20).

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 11:12 GMT)

I do agree with Osman Samiuddin. If we look at the past 18 months almost 5 capt's and 3 chief selector's have changed or resign from the PCB under the Chairmanship of Mr.Butt. PPl working under Mr.Butt r unhappy and they all r fighting including the capt's with him all the time.Can any one ans why such thing is happening?Why there is always a change of capt or chief selector why not the team manager?Why the team selection meeting was held in Yawar Saeed's room in srilanka?Why Shahid was not given the senior player on his demand,as every one knows senior players are required in english conditions,the same was done in the world T20 cup in West Indies,when coach and capt wanted a fast bowler and Chairman gave them a spinner?What is Mr.Butt doing in England and if he is there to see cricket then why is he asking question on the defeat from the player's?I think we must change Chairman and Team manager for the sake of Pakistan Cricket.And should support and ask Shahid to come back as a capt.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

All these people who are saying that Butt is too young to be captain or saying that he can't captain, they do not know that he was the captain of Pakistan's u-17 team once, and U-19 team once....

Posted by trepuR on (July 19, 2010, 10:25 GMT)

I think that the author of this article makes several very valid judgements, and raises some good points. The PCB has really dug a nice hole for themself with bannings of players, forced resignations and the like, so in this regard I agree with the article, but questioning whether the two innings of Afridi in the test match were actualy irresponsible is ludicrous. to make a 15 ball 30 in a 20/20 is a good innings, but in a test match, unless in very odd circumstances, it is a very irresponsible innings and saying that innings was somehow more responsible than Mohammed Yousuf's in Sydney is madness. Otherwise quite a good article.

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (July 19, 2010, 9:56 GMT)

Well, you guys should recall Imran Khan and appoint him as the non-playing captain. He will surely pull in line everyone who makes trouble in the team. A vibrant Pakistani team is a delight for everyone. Please get your acts together!

Posted by M_H_K on (July 19, 2010, 9:45 GMT)

Everything was clear to Afridi when he accepted the captaincy. He himself said more than once that he wanted more young players in the team. The worst thing that a captain can do is to leave his team in the middle of sea. Some people say that he was pressurised to accept the captaincy. He could have rejected the offer at that time as he had done just after the first match. Infact, he was more than happy to accept the captaincy. Just few days back, he said that he was disappointed when he was not made captain in 2007. I think PCB should look for a new captain for one days and T20. Who knows that he will not resign once again in the middle of the World Cup. At the end, all I want to say that he has chickened out. He ran away from competition.

Posted by thefutureafridi on (July 19, 2010, 9:39 GMT)

Shaihd Afridi is the best captain that Pakistan can have at this time It was the mistake of the board to appoint him as a captain in test cricket bcz he has not played test cricket in 4 years so where is Afridi's mistake?

Posted by anonyzious on (July 19, 2010, 9:17 GMT)

brave man indeed and i am finally happy to see someone speaking good for afridi. whatever he did was not bad, only few can dare to do so. long live afridi and his cricketing career! inshAllah

Posted by vswami on (July 19, 2010, 9:15 GMT)

I feel sorry for Salman Butt. Its too early for him to be the next candidate for retirement.

Posted by Yassar on (July 19, 2010, 9:12 GMT)

I might be the only one but i do feel Shahid Afridi can play test cricket and play it successfully if given the ability to select the right team. Afridi's ability to lead a test team in terms of captaining it on the field, making the right bowling changes and getting the field placings right, attacking the opposition when they need to be attacked is not the problem. I think he has shown to do that well. THE PROBLEM is his own batting. But i do feel his type of aggressive/irresponsible batting can be utilised providing the top order is strong. If the PCB see sense and include Younis and Yousuf, Pakistan all of a sudden have a world class middle order. Couple that with Butts improvement at the top and the potential of Umar Akmal, you suddenly have a line-up that has experience and undoubted talent. Basically the experience & class of Yousuf and Younis will provide a buffer for Afridi to play in his unpredicatble style. Similarly to his test successes of the past.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 8:55 GMT)

Have you read this yet Osman?


Posted by peegeevee on (July 19, 2010, 8:46 GMT)

pcb do not have vision of bats; only bowls; it is in the choice of batsmen that they flounder, osman . peegeevee

Posted by amajeed on (July 19, 2010, 8:44 GMT)

I personally think that the decision of Afridi came because, he was handed over the weakest ever team (two debutants on the most critical positions of number 3 and 4) and asked to fight with a team that is mentally very strong. He had been pleading for at least M. Younis but ego of Mr. Ijaz Butt was stopping that. The first inning batting clearly, show this desperation. That sort of inning he has stopped playing even in T20 matches. I think he still can play test cricket as he has made right choices and decision in the first inning on the field and bold out strong batting line of Australia on 250. It was batting worries that he was pointing out pushed him to the decision. All that is required is to weed out the two culprits (Ijaz butt and Yawar saeed) from PCB if we want to save Pakistan Cricket from further disaster.

Posted by bharath74 on (July 19, 2010, 8:42 GMT)

Chemistry, Maths and Pakistani Cricket are difficult to understand.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 8:41 GMT)

osman u can't put all blame om Mr. Ijaz but. I will totally blame to Shahid Afridi they way he announce his retirement. What do u think this was the right time or right place to announce some imp thing. I am totally not agree with Afridi that he can't play test. When u can play more then 25 overs in one day batting or u can bowl 10 overs in one day then wht is the prob in test cricket. Actually i will say one thing that our players are just stupid. They don't know how to adjust in different conditions. Guys u r playing for country with a huge money u can't think imagine how other people are laughing on our country name. They r not calling your name they r calling pakistan. Every cricketer is dying to play test but our players Mashallah they know only one thing how to fight with our country men.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (July 19, 2010, 8:24 GMT)

I agree with AndrewFromOz that the ways of the PCB beat me. To make a man who seemed a patent misfit in test cricket and who had always seemed reluctant about the format captain was plain dumb. If that wasn't bad enough, Younus Khan and Mohammed Yousuf were overlooked and two young men with no experience at this level were thrown to the wolves as it were. Its sad that a once great team has been brought down to this level.

Posted by Dr.M.S.ARVIND on (July 19, 2010, 7:52 GMT)

This is yet another drama unfolding in the other side of border. Good one Osman. Actually when things like this happen you can't blame anyone not even PCB or Messers. E.Butt or Y.Sayeed or Afridi. This is what is called as Fate. Nothing more.

Posted by Itchy on (July 19, 2010, 7:46 GMT)

I don't blame Afridi for the loss as his captaincy while in the field was quite good but his batting was appalling and an atrocious example to a young and inexperienced team.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 7:38 GMT)

well i always appreciate usman's comments but this time would rather disagree. the problem is that if afridi accepted captaincy n after just 1 match he figured it out that he made a mistake then he shud have atleast completed the task which was given to him, to complete remaining tests. now honestly do u believe butt would turn out to be the right decision, i hope so but that odds are against him. he is still learning n now all of a sudden he is the test captain, unfortunetly we have to realise that we are not gifted what SA got as grame smith. so over all i m v disapointed with afridis decision n was really looking forward to a gud english summer but now i think all the matches gonna b one sided except with the assistance of weather, n they all will have same excuses of captain being young n team being young, n its not gonna b late when we will see pak as 2nd last in test ranking worst we all have to see.

Posted by usaf_1975 on (July 19, 2010, 7:35 GMT)

Shahid Afridi is a brave man who accept the captaincy of nothing. this team is a club level team and the grouping make it more diffcult team to manage anyone even like great IMRAN KHAN and RICKY. Afridi impress me on the field with his bowling change and fielding placement but disoppiont by his batting, but still i have doubt about the biggest and strongest group in the team and that was the AKMAL bro. and some management people. Malik is a cricket creminal with the collaboration of AKMAL brothers. who is operating from out side and umer akmal batting showing it in both innings. kamran akmal who is only call " easy boys easy" OR just smiling after drop catch aur mis stamp. he is the lazziest wicket kipper in the world. just see paine very impressive his first match. i appriciate MR.AFRIDI to get away from test cricket although i consider the very good openning batsman in test also even we all saw in india he played fantastic innings their. i feel sorry for SHAHID AFRIDI, no balme

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 7:24 GMT)

I totally agrees with Mr. Osman Samiuddin that there was no need to appoint Mr. Afridi as captain for the Test side but he still accepted that and that is a brave decision but now I think the retirement is right and with this Yasir Hameed, Shoaib Malik and Tanveer could make their way in the Test playing 11, so, therefore, this decision is by no means is in the favor of Pakistan Test Cricket.

Posted by nasir_2k45 on (July 19, 2010, 7:06 GMT)

i m big fan of afridi but i m very dissapointed, why afridi did like this he is that kind of man or pathan that he will leave his country in middle of a big tour which was rebuilding pakistan cricket, every body was asuming that now pak cricket drama finished but not yet. what he think he is born for only odi&t20, why he cant not play test, he can defence in odi & t20 can play sencible cricket in both form of game then why not in test if he knows the responsiblity on his shoulder. there ary many players in world who play better than him odi & t20 (Gayle,Gilchrist,Hayden,Sehwag,Dilshan) but they utilised their aggression in test, this is a true sports man, you can see dilshan how he changed his game he was 6-7 down batsman and not dangerous, but now he changed his game&mind and he is more dangerous than afridi in any format of game. its very disspointed honestly.

Posted by chaithan on (July 19, 2010, 7:05 GMT)

@rtom: What will your opinion of somebody who turns down the captaincy be? Even in cases like this?

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 7:05 GMT)

AS a PAKISTAni nd a FAn i havent expected that Afridi that early lose his hope.he must continue captaincy at least till the end of England tour.SALMAN BUtt is justa kid of Criket.he cant even won a title for his City Lahore in Domestic.so how can u hope thathe will b a good captian

Posted by Cric.Analysis on (July 19, 2010, 7:04 GMT)

Are you kidding, Usman? This guy back-stabbed Younis and Yousuf to get the captaincy and you are trying to portray him as a victim. You keep blaming PCB for everything that goes wrong just like the people who think "US, Mossad or RAW is behind all the trouble in the land".

And Afridi was a lousy captain. He allowed a weak Australian batting lineup to score heavily against a formidable Pakistani bowling attack. He let the tail-enders score over 100runs without trying to do anything different (like to bring in a part timer) to break the partnership. And its no secret that they way he batted had a negative influence on the team.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 7:00 GMT)

I think when ever anyone tries to rationalize the working of PCB or the way Pakistan Cricket behaves, that's when they start to bang their heads against the wall because no matter what logic you think, there is no way PCB should have asked Shahid Afridi to be captain of the test side.

The worst part is that now they are asking Salman Butt who is again not ready and mature enough to be a captain and we all can foresee the clashes within the team within few months. But since we all love Pakistan Cricket therefore all we can do is Pray because as I said earlier that logical thinking doesnt provide any Intellectual or Moral Support what so ever.

Posted by longhorndms on (July 19, 2010, 6:45 GMT)

Thank you for saying what we all sort of want to say, but don't really know how to say.

Posted by SHAHILLL on (July 19, 2010, 6:17 GMT)

I completely agree with Usman bhai,Afridi only tells truth whatever its running in his heart. He is not like other who's back-biting behind. It was little surprised as the way he retired from the Test and put off captaincy.He realized that test format does not suite and even instead of his spot required some of who's more capable to spend time at the crease or some of specialist bowler for that particular format.I was very disappointed as the way former cricketers (Moin Khan, Zaheer Abbas) critics on Afridi ,It is not justification for punishing him.I don't understand about Zaheer Abbas why always comes first to critics anything issue rise to Afridi. He knows only critics,Once upon a time He known as a Asian Bradman But see, he has not done anything for young cricketers. Inshallah,Afridi will prove him self very soon and shut above all former cricketers mouth. HOWEVER HE IS ? BUT FAN NEVER LIVE WITHOUT AFRIDI and THAT'S WHY ONCE MICHEAL HOLDING SAYS CRICKET IS'T CRICKET WITHOUT AFRIDI

Posted by tick on (July 19, 2010, 6:13 GMT)

Me? I only know how to hit sixes and I can't do that for five days." ..well he should have thought that before.neverthless its good because malik can bat better than him and hope that he scores some runs and not indulge in back bitting against butt..every one who noe some cricket will see that this pak team is not going to win except against newzeland and westindies...but as an optimist i hope for the best...

Posted by sobank on (July 19, 2010, 6:06 GMT)

I do not get it. We all criticize Afridi for not having a test cricket attitude and he agrees with it too. We all know he is not gonna change his batting style so why keep pushing him in the ring with hungry wolves? If he can not change himself, what other choice he has? And frankly we all knew its coming.

What surprises me more is the fact that people are more worried about Afridi leaving test cricket and no one is paying attention to the most stupid idea of PCB of dumping the true talent of Yasir Hameed and getting Imran Farhat instead - who has not done anything of significance as far as I remember. Now I need the explanation of that. How a person with low averages in every significant format of game gets selected over the contender with proven and much better record. Osman sir, maybe you can enlighten us on that mystery.

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (July 19, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

instead of Salman Butt...why not make Kamran Akmal the captain, then? It'll keep the musical chair alive and, also, it will guarantee Kamran a place in the side...

Posted by Shahmeez on (July 19, 2010, 5:58 GMT)

For me Afridi was the best choice and I still back that, I know its hard but thats what champions do, they take the challenge and work hrd for it, Is it so difficult for him to bat like he did in Srilianka in the Asia cup? Is it too much of ask for him to bat sensibly? Is it too hard for man of his talent to be calm for 5 overs? I guess answer is no for all of them..... As far as Ijaz butt is concerned we should get rid of him ASAP

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (July 19, 2010, 5:47 GMT)

The problem with Pakistani cricket is because of its players in some part, but largely because of the way the PCB has consistently behaved - in its selection practices, in the message it sends across to its players and the Pakistani audience and lastly at the sheer lack of discipline it inculcates in its players. Player refusal to change their attitude, temperament and to learn skills that would benefit the team as a whole cannot be tolerated. If a player refuses to adapt and improve performance in the interests of the country, there should be no place for the player in the national team. If the PCB were a parent, then it needs to be held responsible for how its wards, the players, turn out. A player, with > 3 years international experience, is an adult in the game and should learn to take responsibility for his own actions and development. If Talent, Performance, Format Temperament and Attitude were 4 parameters to be used for rating players, then Afridi gets 3/10.

Posted by azhar_hassan on (July 19, 2010, 5:43 GMT)

As a long suffering supporter of the Pakistan cricket team, I have to confess that it seems that this team is endlessly going from one historic low to another. And just when you think they have hit rock bottom, the bottom sinks even further! We've know for ages about the chaotic management, the infighting and the politics. But for how long can this continue? It is just sad - the team has talent and potential but when will it ever be able to get its act together?

Posted by bharath74 on (July 19, 2010, 5:10 GMT)

I think Ijaz Butt has taken the sensible decision of making Afridi as captain. Nobody in the Pak team has the potential to lead the team. Just look at the way Umar Akmal, Kamran akmal played, were they thinking that they were playing a Benefit match or Local T20 match? Salman Butt is the only player who played responsibly. Ijaz Butt should not be blamed for everything, he has done far better than many. I feel no player in Pak team has the leadership traits, i can assure u that they will become good politicians, eg Shoaib Malik and Akmal Bros. Good Luck to Salman Butt, hopefullly he will be a successful captain, and bring back the lost glory.

Posted by Abidmashwani on (July 19, 2010, 4:56 GMT)

Osman! you have the guts to put the facts straight, probably you are not residing in Pakistan or feeding on PCB. People who hopes from PCB for livelihood will be quick to blame Afridi, but will not acknowledge that Afridi before the selection of the squad openly showed his desire to have Younas and Yousaf as part of the squad for tough series against Aussies and English, but Mr. Buffoon openly declared his war against Younis Khan and went to Sri Lanka to make sure selectors do not consider Younis Khan for the tour. Furthermore, they selected controversial Yawar Saeed as team manager with power to send home any body they deem indisciplined. I think these two things (Butt and Yawar personal war against YK, and Yawar selection as Manager with power to send a player home) effectively eliminated any possibility of YK becoming part of test squad.

Then dropping of Malik from playing eleven, may have ignited Akmal brotherns loyalties to Malik and may have resulted in under par performance.

Posted by KarmatBaig on (July 19, 2010, 4:38 GMT)

Salman Butt can be a good choice provided the Big Butt keeps his inteference to the minimum and we should also keep the Bad Guy Politician Shoaib Mailk away from the team so that he can devote more time to Saniya. Pakistan should build a team for the future and get rid of the 3Idiots Ejaz Butt, Yawar Saeed and Wasim Bari as soon as possible .

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 4:16 GMT)

PCB made a big mistake to make afridi the captain of the test side....he was never suited for test cricket at all....but he took the reponsibility because the team needed him....PCB had to make Younis Khan the captain of the side but why will they make him the captain they have to resolved few issues with younis khan....If we talk at afridi's captaincy it was way better than yousuf....Now i just hope Salman butt th inform batsmen for Pakistan performs well and captin the side wll....May ALLAH bless our team !!!

Posted by Woody111 on (July 19, 2010, 4:10 GMT)

Nice one, Osman. Brutal honesty as always. I was impressed by Afridi's leadership in the field but you can't bat like that in test cricket. Even players like Gilchrist valued their wicket and left good balls. I think Butt could do well if the PCB actually stands behind their captain and doesn't led ego maniacs within the playing group (like Shoaib Malik) undermine his efforts. Butt was clearly the best batsman; although this doesn't make someone a great leader. Hopefully Waqar can show him the way.

Posted by AndrewFromOz on (July 19, 2010, 4:07 GMT)

I'll never understand Pakistani cricket

Posted by rtom on (July 19, 2010, 3:59 GMT)

"He was asked to take over by the PCB". If he new that he was not fit for a test side, why did he accept the position then ???

Posted by Manoj1234 on (July 19, 2010, 3:36 GMT)

Leave it alone. Don't try to use logic to explain Pakistan cricket scenario. It is a joke. Just sit back and enjoy how it unfolds day after day. :)

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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And one that will be the same. A look at what has changed since 2011. By Alan Gardner

    You're not so big now, brother

ESPNcricinfo XI: When unfavoured teams trounced stronger ones at the World Cup

    Open with Rohit and Binny, with Kohli at No. 3

Ian Chappell: India's batting is going the way of their bowling, and they need get their order sorted before the World Cup

What do we talk about when we talk about aggression?

Alex Bowden: Why do people think players who get up in the opposition's faces also have aggressive approaches in their cricket?

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Kohli at No. 4 - defensive or practical?

It seems Virat Kohli is to not bat before the 12th or 13th over to strengthen the middle and the lower middle order. It suggests a lack of confidence in what was supposed to be India's strength in their title defence: their batting

44 balls, 16 sixes, 149 runs

Stats highlights from an incredible day in Johannesburg, where AB de Villiers smashed the record for the fastest ODI ton

On TV it looks uglier than it actually is

Often reasonable arguments on the field look nasty beyond the boundary and on camera

Open with Rohit and Binny, with Kohli at No. 3

India's batting is going the way of their bowling in Australia, and they need get their order sorted before the World Cup

Why cricket needs yellow and red cards

David Warner's repeated transgressions tell us that the game has a discipline problem that has got out of hand

News | Features Last 7 days