Osman Samiuddin
Sportswriter at the National

The problem is Butt

He has been in charge for just under three years and Shahid Afridi's axing represents the ninth change in captaincy in his time

Osman Samiuddin

May 19, 2011

Comments: 71 | Text size: A | A

Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq share a light moment during practice, Mohali, March 27, 2011
There have been nine changes in Pakistan's Test and ODI captaincy under Ijaz Butt's tenure, which has spanned less than three years © AFP

In a way this isn't even about Shahid Afridi or Misbah-ul-Haq. Both have their advantages and faults. This writer personally considered Afridi to have done as good a job as was manageable in the circumstances that were thrust upon him.

Few can realistically argue that they weren't surprised by his performances as leader, given how unsuitable a candidate he has looked for most of his career. But over 32 ODIs (two, against West Indies and Australia, came as stand-in) he left a bit of himself on the team: unpredictable, occasionally brilliant, occasionally hopeless; that Pakistan's four ODI series under Afridi all ended in 3-2 scorelines is quite fitting really.

But mostly they were up for a good fight. In particular, Pakistan showed some spine under him against England and South Africa last year, contests in which what was happening around them could easily have blown them away entirely.

On results, he just about wins. Any captain will take more wins than losses, particularly as few of his opponents were genuinely weak. The World Cup run cannot be belittled, and two series wins did come against weaker sides, but they are two more than a few of the last couple of captains managed: Pakistan, remember, hadn't won an ODI series against a full member side since November 2008 until they beat New Zealand earlier this year. So credit is due.

Misbah might be a decent captain. His form since his return to all formats last year has been outstanding, even if it takes in the much-pilloried World Cup semi-final half-century against India. But turning to a man who turns 37 on the day he leads Pakistan against Ireland in the first ODI isn't a long-term solution.

But the problem isn't either of these two. The problem, not for the first or last time in the tenure of Ijaz Butt, lies with the board, with Butt himself. So far nobody has said why Afridi has been removed, and they might not say anything anytime soon; the board does, after all, retain the right to change captains per assignment.

Only two things could have led to this, however. One is Afridi's keenness in airing private matters publicly, which is admittedly an uneasy trait to possess as Pakistan captain. The other is the differences he has with coach Waqar Younis, differences that have grown considerably over the last few months. Both are issues that can be resolved without sacking someone, a suggestion so obvious that it feels foolish to write it out.

If he does speak out regularly - and it is a breach of the code of conduct - can he not be disciplined in another way? And, given what Pakistani captains of pretty recent vintage have gotten up to, is it that grave an offence? Perhaps Afridi's general disciplinary record went against him: the ball-biting last year, or his abrupt relinquishing of the Test captaincy. In that case, they should have axed him then, when it might have made sense, not now, when it makes less.

The chairman has been quiet for a few months and it has been bliss. Now he has stirred again, underlining once again as if it was needed, that he might struggle to run a chalkboard, let alone a cricket board

If there were problems with Waqar, could not the two of them - with PCB officials involved - have had a pow-wow to sort matters out? Intikhab Alam, the team manager, tried to bring the two together during the ODI series in the Caribbean, but the matter is delicate enough to be handled away from an ongoing series.

Maybe - a radical suggestion this - the board could have sat down and worked out a better, more streamlined selection policy, over which the pair have fallen out. The parameters are not defined very well, but mostly selection in Pakistan is not so different from that in other countries. The selection committee picks a squad, with inputs from coach and captain. The on-tour management, which includes coach and captain, picks the XI. If, as happens often, a Test squad is announced after the ODI leg of the series, then the on-tour management inevitably wants input in that. The final say, in all matters, is with the chairman, for some reason.

As Pakistan's experiments with democracy amply demonstrate, there are probably too many different people involved for this to work smoothly: five in the selection committee, three or more on tour (if the advice of senior players is taken). In any case, the problems that regularly arise in selection matters here likely do elsewhere; the point is you don't solve them simply by sacking people, unless all other options have been exhausted.

Butt has been in charge for just under three years and this now represents the ninth change in captaincy in his time, in Tests and ODIs. Nine: it takes some countries decades to go through that kind of change. Add to it three coaches and five selection chiefs. Does it need to be written out what kind of effect this instability has on the performances of a team? How do you build anything if the materials keep changing? And can we expect Afridi, whether he says it publicly or not, as a key member of the ODI side still, to take this without any issues?

Long ago the number of changes began to say nothing of the men who came and went and everything of the man who made the changes: that is, he is clueless. How much longer before he decides to kick out Misbah? Or Mohsin Khan? Or Waqar Younis?

The chairman had been quiet for a few months and it had been bliss. Now he has stirred again, underlining once again as if it was needed, that he might struggle to run a chalkboard, let alone a cricket board.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (May 22, 2011, 2:16 GMT)

Agreed 1000% please give Butttt a rest and get rid of him for the sake of Pakistan cricket.

Mr. Butt at 73 you must be booted out soon otherwise you will take Pakistan cricketing credentials down and out very soon, best of luck with your endeavors :)

Posted by   on (May 22, 2011, 2:11 GMT)

mr krishnan this is unbelievable !

Posted by mso797 on (May 21, 2011, 18:08 GMT)

@Krishnan Rajkumar i agree with u completely add anwar ali, nasir jamshed, and mohammed rizwan/safraz/ adnan altering for diferent 4mats

Posted by   on (May 21, 2011, 17:26 GMT)

Pakistan cricket used to be all about passion ... now its more about controversies..that are uncalled for ! And until there is cleanup at PCB, such things will continue ! Starting with Mr. Butt himself !! I would agree that Afridi may not be the best captains ever, however, he was doing a better job than many of the others. Moreover, he should control the comments he makes in public, although there is no harm in voicing the truth, but the choice and timing of comments should be considered. Its about time Pakistan cricket re-established themselves.. and stay away for unnecessary bad publicity for some time.. but i guess its as hard as winning a WC in itself !

Posted by donda on (May 21, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

Its all about power, player power, afridi wants power and butt is not willing to give that. Misbah is temporary solution as Butt is too, he will be gone in 3 months.

I think Pakistan cricket is going to go down and down because of Butt and he don't deserve chairmanship at all.

I hope best for pakistan cricket but the situation is so bad. they will make sure that no body plays cricket in pakistan like hockey. No more sports just politics and corruption will remain popular sports.

Posted by zuhair250 on (May 21, 2011, 4:50 GMT)

Misbah ul Haq is the only replacement left? the man is celebrating his 37rh Birthday on 28th May. How long is he going to stay and cause agony?

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 21:00 GMT)

Afridi was an average captain, average bowler, below average batsman and had very poor communication and interpersonal skills; so he had to go, no big deal here. Misbah at 38 is teporary fill in for few months ? weeks. Who next for Pakistan is the important question? Given the situation where not 1 player can be guaranteed to be in the team on merit (let alone have leadership qualities) for the next 1-2 yrs, the situation looks very bleak. I feel Pakistan is going to have another 10 captains in the next 3 yrs. The best option in my opinion is let Pakistan's under 19 team represent as Pak seniors for a few years. They may start from the bottom but in a few years will have a stable well gelled unit with a few young, energetic and unadulterated leadership material. Will Ijaz Butt and rest of the PCB let it happen is altogether a different proposition.

Posted by K.A.K on (May 20, 2011, 19:08 GMT)

Spot on! - Butt must go. Imran Khan should be requested to take over.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (May 20, 2011, 17:52 GMT)

Afridi has no respect for his elders. Waqar Younis and Inzimam lost miserably in the first founds of their World Cups with star studden teams, and Afridi not only took his pathetic team to quarter final, he could have actually won the semi final, in which case he would have surely won the final. What a great insult to Waqar Younis and Inzimam. No wonder all mega stars are so angry on Afridi. Learn how to respect, you should have lost all of first round matches out of the respect for them. lol.

Posted by likeintcricket on (May 20, 2011, 17:50 GMT)

Pakistan batting is sad reminder of their current test ranking and their struggle against rookies like Rampaul and Bishoo shows that they don't belong to top five or six. Sadly, Mr. Butt, has to recall the old timers again. They are much better of playing Younis, Yousuf, Akmal, Kaneria and Razzaq than this bunch of novices.

Posted by ImranVaid on (May 20, 2011, 17:09 GMT)

Just when Pakistan Cricket was giving us hope and there recent world cup run was bringing a nation together and this world cup team made all of us proud, then this happens. It is board problem. Before the West Indies tour Afridi did ask to rest, and the board should of giving him rest. Let's look at India. If I am not mistaking they did give M.S. Dhoni a rest in the upcoming West Indies tour. My fellow cricket fans this is not surprising, this is the same board that have messed up a lot of careers in the past and not to mention Imran Tahir who had to go to South Africa to play. It will not matter who is on the team and who is the captain as long as all those board members are there who have no experience & they are just there because they know someone in the government, this whole environment will stay same.

Posted by reality_check on (May 20, 2011, 16:11 GMT)

In American professional sports, top class players are treated as vaulable assets and are pampered even if they get out of line occasionally. Coaches and management usually get the axe if changes are to be made. In PCB it's reverse. Butt and PCB management has all the power and players are treated as dirt. Results of this anomaly speak for itself.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

PCB is becoming a joke to all other countries.Why not look seriously to the matters.Since PAKISTAN came into being always a problem to work as a nation.All are legends cricketers are reside overseas because of our peoples attitude and behaviours when they end there career.Look it India how they respect there former cricketers but we don't learn and give respect to former cricketers or other sportmen.If we not going to change quickly the system with favouratism given to un-deserveing candidats thats what happen.Being a former cricketer of pakistan its really hurts me to see our own people destroying cricket.Wake up and fix the problems.And say sorry i have made the mistake and move on and given to right person who can run the system smoothly with love and affection for betterment for cricket we have to rise as a nation otherwise we will end up like some other countries.I am permoting cricket in USA for last 20 years now its happening.Pakistani did lot of contribution in usa.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 15:04 GMT)

Can anyone compare how many captains Pak has had from 2000 in comparison with India - 5(Azhar,Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble, Dhoni). Maybe that itself tells a story

Posted by maddy20 on (May 20, 2011, 14:53 GMT)

A captain should be one who should lead by example. When the team is in a crisis you should bail them out with sensible batting and not get out playing rash shots. Besides this guy Afridi is hot-headed and has a tendency to land in cotroversies way too many times. Despite of all this Misbah guy is not a good choice. Younis Khan would have been a much better choice!

Posted by dalok on (May 20, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

PCB makes BCCI look good. I have problems with BCCI but then I remind myself that atleast they are not in a self-destruct mode like PCB.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 12:36 GMT)

its realy worest thinking of pcb...

Posted by nasir159 on (May 20, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

ijaz butt is like a brother of zardari.If pakistan cricket wants to enhance ,ijaz butt should be removed as the chairman and amir sohail should be made the chairman

Posted by Hasso29 on (May 20, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

Total disaster for Pakistani cricket team!

Posted by Stark62 on (May 20, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

Afridi is a good aggressive leader and leads from the front!

So what if he isn't batting like he used to but at least his taking wickets and was the joint wicket taker in the recently concluded WC.

What has Misbah done? Oh that's right, NOTHING!

His a good Test captain but ODI's and T20's, it's a big joke.

Bring back Afridi.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 9:58 GMT)

I never thought about Hafeez being considered for ODI captaincy but under the circumstances he could be an option till next world cup. He has age at his side. He is maturing as a batsman also.

Having said this Afridi has also not done bad with the captaincy no matter how irresponsibly he plays with the bat. Batting for Pakistan has become an issue of late. Javed Miandad should be brought in as full time coach of the team for at least 2 years. He has always been an inspiration for the batsmen. All of our batsmen needs to score consistently and control their desire to hit loose shots.

Posted by omairhr on (May 20, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

@irfans1, Give Misbah some time n space and he would be nearing 50 years in age.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (May 20, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

Osman ji, Afridi doesn't qualify for an automatic selection any more. He is more like a bowler now whoes batting average (post asia cup) is not better than Harbhajan. And even if he has taken a lot of wickets in the WC (as yuvraj did), he can not push out Said Ajmal or Rehman for spinners slot. The man is not willing to change his batting attitude even when 8 out of 10 times, he gets out to the same shot which he is not able to connect any more. Afridi's big mouth and his contineous problems with fellow players and coaches didn't help either. I think, he should have been fired long ago, specially when after WC he opened his mouth again and this time to destroy all the goodwill between two rival countries which both the prime ministers and others had worked hard to establish. When a person is not ready to change his bad habits even after many episodes, then what mr. Butt needed to do was to fire him from captaincy.

Posted by sorryaffair on (May 20, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

Ijaz Butt like Nasim Ashraf ( predecessor) has been a disaster. Does anyone know his whereabouts. This is the kind of leaders we have been breeding, who make hay while the sun is shining and then disappear from the face of the earth, until such time everyone forgets. Ijaz Butt has been making knee jerk decisions all along, Pakistan has lost the opportunity to host any games during his leadership. he should be replaced sooner than later by senior retired players who have done a lot to raise Pakistan reputation. What has Ijaz Butt done to be the President?????? NOTHING !

Posted by BoonBoom on (May 20, 2011, 7:23 GMT)

@Hasan Farooq.... your comments probably are the best comment I ever read on Cricinfo - very clearly reflecting the reality within PCB and players. WELL DONE MAN !!!

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 7:12 GMT)

where is pakistan cricket going? foes this board even ahve a vision? Misbah maximum can lead this side for another 2 yrs, what then after that? this looks like a short term thing then they mite appoint some one else. there should be some long term planning with Umar GUl being appointed as capatin , whos clean , young and has a place in the side.pakistan have always hav had good bowlers as captains.and besidesd We need a batting coach ASAP . and if God forbid we lose the test series to the Windie sPak cricket will be at its lowest ebb , so i hope misbah come thru

Posted by rocky on (May 20, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

Give Misbah some time,maybe a few years to mature into a fine captain.At least till Shoaib Akthar makes a comeback to take over(he did not get a chance to captain...yet).Afridi can always change his mind about tests,even Younis Khan or Yusuf can change their minds too.Maybe Miandad or Imran can 'unretire' once again.If ICC relents anytime soon, Asif or Amair can walk into that post.The best choice would be look for some cousin of Kamran Akmal (they got enough bros to hold a tournament rather than just make the national team).Please be patient 'n give Misbah a few more seconds at the helm.

Posted by romit006 on (May 20, 2011, 5:47 GMT)

I am from India. I follow Pakistan on and off. From what it appeared in the field I think Afridi did a very fine job leading the team. The Pakistan team went through a major turmoil recently. However even after losing so many players. it played very well in the WC. Afridi looked to be in charge all the time. He appeared very pro active. Giving the captaincy to Misbah is a joke specially since he lost Pakistan the match against India. The problem with Pakistan is that the players donot seem to mature mentally. And wasn't Misbah accused of not co operating with Yosuf during the Aus and NZ series. How can he be made the captain?

PS. making Ijaz Butt the fielding coach is as big a joke as Kamran Akmal being the best wicketkeeper for Pakistan.

Posted by bharath74 on (May 20, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

Ijaz Butt has done a brilliant job considering the recent incidents that has rocked Pakistani Cricket. Pakistani cricket requires stability, that can be best achieved through Misbah. Afridi is unable to cope up with the pressure, he almost forgot how to bat. Misbah is the right choice at the moment, someone like Asad or Hafeez can take over from Misbah if they continue their current form.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

I totally agree. At this moment, Pakistani Cricket needs a chairman whose a visionary and a diplomat in fostering relations with international teams. Its shocking how ill-equiped and poor Ijaz Butt has been but then thats been the story of our democratic leaders for some time now.

Though, Afridi definitely didnt help the matters for his captaincy, however, I still think hes a far better prospect for ODIs than Misbah. I dream of seeing Muhammed Yousaf back :)

Posted by Biggus on (May 20, 2011, 5:14 GMT)

I was absloutely gobsmacked at his recent claim to have eradicated 'player power'. Such a confrontational statement is surely asking for trouble. Why one or the other? Couldn't they try to co-operate to the benefit of Pakistan cricket, or is that too revolutionary a concept for a demagogue? Eleven captaincy changes in under three years is surreal. We've (Aus) had 5 captains in about 30 years.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 4:22 GMT)

I 100% agree with Desihungama and Irfan comment. Afridi great bowler-terrible predictable batsman...totally wrong captain...Play him as player.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

Let us first see if Afridi deserves a place in the team as a player or not. In the last five ODI's his performance was the poorest of his career as an all rounder. He failed miserably both with bat and ball. How can anybody say that he inspires as a captain. He gets out every time to a most irresponsible and rash shot at crucial moments. He may contribute for the team as an ordinary player under some other captain. Misbah also is not a good captaincy material. He is basically a person with a defensive mindset. Had he been an attacking leader West Indies last wicket pair would not have added 40 odd runs and Pakistan would have won that test. Pakistan needs to find an attacking captain who can lead the team with example even if he is half as good as Imran Khan.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

its a shame to c such kind of decisions being made. i feel sorry and pitty as well on state of mind of Mr. Butt and ckt board. The issue is not whose going to b the captain but issue remains tht whoever becomes captain, how much time he will be.. having three to four or may be five captains in the team will never serve the cause specially whn all of them haf been sacked and ask to play under new captain... i mean how in the world they r going to respect each other... eventually ths results in grouping, disaster for ckt and a collateral damage to the image. prestige, honor of the game itself and emotions of millions of Fans.. Mr. Osman please find out more details in ths regards and try strip of the face of the board officials... may the truth prevail

Posted by irfans1 on (May 19, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

Give Misbah some time n space, he is well mature n sensible to take this responsibility. Afridi could still contribute as a player, as Pak still need him to win matches as player. In the meanwhile, Hafeez should be groom as vice captain, and surely he would be the automatic choice of captain once Misbah would call a day in all formats. Stop this discusion please, let the team concentrate on cricket, as they should look forward to perform instead thinking about captaincy matters.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

First of all Afridi is no Imran Khan. Pakistan at this point of time needs stability and Afridi due to his poor speaking skills has lost his captaincy. He should not bring team matters into public. Misbah is good, but this short term. I don't see any captaincy material in any other current Pakistani Player. Take a chance on Faisal Iqbal to be next captain.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

very nice to see.... Afridi sucks as a captain and player... Mishad is the right choice.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 18:57 GMT)

Buffoon Chairman PCB ijaz butt makes Misbah the Captain for ODI..Instead of rebuidling a team its more like demolishing it....HATS OFF PCB !!! if afridi was a liability hafeez was the best optiob...they shd have think abt the future....but misbah the captain for odi...BAD DESCISION !!!!

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 18:45 GMT)

But the question is who will replace him? When this government changes there will be another pitiful puppet replacing this puppet for another government. The first thing that should be done is to make the PCB an independent body with no Chief Patrons. Eliminate political influence in the PCB and you will automatically see better results.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (May 19, 2011, 18:15 GMT)

Afridi made two mistakes. First, he refused to be part of match fixing ring and had to step down from test captaincy. Second he won the ODI series in West Indies despite experimentations from Waqar Younis, and lost the captaincy of ODI as well.

To be captain of Pakistani team you need to have two qualities 1) Match Fixer 2) Loser. Misbah might not be crook like Salman Butt, but he sure is a loser.

Posted by aamed33 on (May 19, 2011, 17:58 GMT)

Afridi is no diplomat, unstable and of shock value, yes. Now he has put his foot in his mouth again! Why does he do his thinking aloud and into a mike? He's fast turning into a hypocrite who says unpleasant things as soon as others are out of hearing rangeā€¦. does he know that mikes and cameras record sound and vision that can be replayed later as often as required? Check the list of times he's thought he is invisible either visually or vocally: while he was damaging the wicket; while he was attacking a fan; while he was eating the ball; while he was talking about the Indians in Pakistan; and now while he's left the Pak team in Windies, and he's not playing Test cricket as it's too long and labourious. He was even most abnoxious whoile here in Scotland a while ago, and my friend came close to punching his nose. Instead of saying Hello and Salaam to his fans, he asked why he can't be left alone, in his unique 'totally fed up' manner. He ain't no Dhoni, more like a flipping Moanie!

Posted by Desihungama on (May 19, 2011, 17:47 GMT)

Osman! You are missing the point. Afridi has failed to insipred anyone. Infact his popularity with rash shots has contributed toward the downfall of other potential prospects, namely Umar Akmal. We do not want our crickters to emulate his batting and captaining style. He is too emotional of a human being and lacks the patience to read the situation. I will send him 8 down as a batsmen and as a bowler use him to break partnerships, at best. No doubt he is a best fielder they have. He just cannot lead from the front. Captain does not mean to always lead from the front as many people thing. A good Captain knows who his trump cards are and be able to read the pitch and use the pool of players according to situations. Afridi seem to be stuck with same personell if they continue to win.

Posted by nsidd75 on (May 19, 2011, 17:40 GMT)

does anyone even care about pakistani cricket.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 16:53 GMT)

Budha pagal ho gaya hai (old man become mad), I really don't know what's the hell this man is doing as a chairman and why he is not kicked out from PCB. He has destroyed the Pakistan cricket. Captainship is given to the guy who does not have his place in the team at all. He is aging now and instead of thinking for the future this guy is putting the team's future into the dark. If it has to continue then better call Yousuf back into the team who is performing in UK. Let Shoib Akhter come back and play for another one year or two. And Waqar Younis himself is fit enough to play for few days as well. Ijaz butt is a shame on Pakistan cricket and he should be sent back to home if Pakistan cricket has to be safe hands.

Posted by Pramod75 on (May 19, 2011, 16:47 GMT)

For heaven's sake, he lead Pakistan to the semi-final and probably was the best bowler of the tournament. Had they played any other team in the semi-finals, they would have been in the final. I cannot imagine a board removing captain after such a good performance. 11 captains in 3 years will only mean that PCB (or Butt) could not find out some one who can be "Yes Man" to Butt and not foolish (like Salman & Co). And yes, performance might not matter. If it did, Afridi still would be captain. Talking about cricket boards, there is some competition to PCB. Look what ECB has done with their captains, CA has shown some amazing inability to select a good teams, SL has appointed Dilshan (34 yrs) as captain, when KS resigned to allow new captain to prepare for next WC. WI Board looking for ways to mess up even more. What ever we say about BCCI, its obsession with Money and Money Power, it has shown more sensibility in these matters, especially in the past 4-5 years, barring Sourav episode.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 16:45 GMT)

Devastating for Pakistan Cricket! As if the leader of the country was not enough, we have this idiot ijaz butt to further our misery!! Just shameful stuff! To sack a captain after leading to you to the semis and a recent victory!! So disappointing!

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

and as far as captaincy is concerened afridi was never good captain. under him pakistan never won a must win match starting from asia cup. under him pakistan won only 3 t20s since t20 cup . & that t20 cup was also a disapointment as pakistan only won 2 /3 games . BUT under curenct situation he SHOULD BE the best choice coz misbah is already 33+ he wont b there in next 1-2 years then what? they should have stick to afridi for next. palyer power & team mangment politics removed afridi.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 16:38 GMT)

this is not only boards thing. dont forget the buildup to this. its clear that team managmnet, sopecialy waqar & some players have to do with this & clearly some politics in dressing room overcome this.its already been in news way back taht waqar has isue with afridi & even muhsin khan & he suported misbahs name as captain before world cup. problem is not only board.

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 16:33 GMT)

Afridi had put his heart and soul into this job, you cannot remove him, its SICK!, somehow we look at our neighbors and we feel Kalmadi can forgiven. These people are really testing the patients of pakistani's.

Posted by arsiq on (May 19, 2011, 16:27 GMT)

What I think is that Ejaz Butt is mentally sick. Can you possibly change 11 captains of a team in nearly 4 years? He is just not stable in his decisions and frankly speaking I think he needs a psychiatrist. Its not about Afridi or Misbah but its about the stability. I think the mistake Afridi did was to take this "nowhere going" team to the WC Semi Final. There is nothing to be emotional about but you have got to investigate the matters first especially when a captain is involved. People say Butt Sb has crushed the player power. I strongly disagree because the 'player power' forced Butt Sb to make Afridi the ODI captain initially. I can only wish Pakistan the best in these circumstances.

Posted by Jarr30 on (May 19, 2011, 15:36 GMT)

Misbah being a Captain is GOOD FOR PAKISTAN. Afridi is an average player who talks too much and plays less. When the whole world including pakistanis were prasing India's welcoming all pakistani fans for semifinal at Mohali, his comment on indians not being big hearted left a bad taste on all Indians. Then his outburst against Waqar in the media was really stupid. Afridi needs to be more diplomatic and good ambssodor to captain a side.

Posted by Me_A_Gemini on (May 19, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

What I can simply say to summarize the current situation is that PCB has become a permenant source of fun for the people who watch cricket since Butt has taken over.

Posted by funkyandy on (May 19, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

An excellent article! Ijaz Butt's decisions continue to baffle and undermine Pakistan cricket. Afridi is a hot-headed character, but he really cares about Pakistan cricket. He could easily give up international cricket and make a good living as a 20/20 and one day specialist - much like Kieron Pollard. But instead of abandoning ship, he carries on fighting for the pride of Pakistan cricket. If Butt isn't removed soon, we will see more Pak cricketers leave the international game and follow Azhar Mahmood, Yasir Arafat, Rana Naved, Mushtaq Ahmed etc, into the cosy nature of English cricket.

Posted by Hindh on (May 19, 2011, 15:20 GMT)

What more can expect form a country which hypes up the team so much before every WC since 1992 that after the team makes humiliating exit there starts this drama all over again. Pakistan cricket team has become a joke....

Posted by pakipower123 on (May 19, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

You know as much as I hate Ijaz Butt, I welcome this move. I am sick and tired of Afridi's antics, I think he is disrespectful to other players on the field, when honestly he should not be expecting any respect himself. I don't care if he says he's just a bowler or whatever but thats not the role that has been defined for him, he bats like an absolute idiot and he doesn't know what to say in the media. He is too blunt and a captain cant be that. We need a diplomatic captain and misbah fits the bill. Although, misbah is not the perfect choice, there is really no one else in our team unfortunately that can take over.

Posted by Prats6 on (May 19, 2011, 15:09 GMT)

Being a cricket fan you just feel so much for this Pak team and Afridi, he has done pretty much everything asked for. unfortunately people like Ijaz Butt are also doing their best to kill Pak cricket. its stupid and ridiculous. People in Pak have to speak out, really.

Posted by h4haseeb on (May 19, 2011, 15:07 GMT)

i totally agree with Osman... this is not the way to solve matters by sacking ppl... we have already lost Shoaib Malik and Mohd. Yousaf and Younis Khan must feel lucky still to be there in the team... Shahid was handed captaincy when, everything was going worse for Pakistan team... and now when it started to look little stable side, here comes another change.... i think PCB should considers his decision again and bring Shahid back as Captain, and solve its issues with other with players like Mohd. Yousaf and Shoaib Malik

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

Another master stroke from Mr. Butt. This guy always amazes with his decisions and and is doing his best to finish cricket in Pakistan. When you have no elections in the cricket board than people like Butt Sahib will do whatever they want. Gog Bless Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket

Posted by CricketChat on (May 19, 2011, 14:27 GMT)

Because of perennial, self destructive personality and ego clashes in the sub-continent, it is a always good strategy to have neutral foreign coaches. India, Bangladesh, SL and even PAK under Woolmer (and others before him) have all flourished under foreign coaches. PAK should go that route again to put their undoubted talent to good use and achieve good results asap.

Posted by Masoodr on (May 19, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Do you not think that Pakistan's fans are now at the point of "who cares"? We know that Ijaz Butt is only there because of his family relationships and his cricket knowledge might fill a thimble. He is an embarrassment to the country and the PCB but none of it matters because nothing will change until the political structure changes. And then some other sycophant bent on being the big cheese will takeover and we will have someone new to blame! Pakistan cricket is a rich sport and high profile which makes it easy for people who otherwise would not even get a second look in life to get their 15 minutes of fame... and to fatten up their bank accounts while taking their family and friends on junkets paid for by the PCB. Professionalism and the PCB parted ways a long time ago, so the bottom line is ... as a diehard Pakistani fan ... I support my team because they wear national colours ... knowing fully well that the system is beyond broken and beyond hope. Sad, but true. Pakistan Zindabad!

Posted by ssiddiqi on (May 19, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

PCB has become circus and Ijaz Butt is a ring leader. He just provides laughing matter to other cricket nations. I am guessing after few months Hafeez name will be echoing in Ijaz Butt's mind and then Umar Akmal. He just simply cutting senior players mentally. He must be kicked out now.

Posted by syedahmed91 on (May 19, 2011, 14:09 GMT)

Its just a Pakistan thing. No one else would do this and harm their cricket the way Pakistan does. Watch misbah take all the praise after ireland series and get dropped within the next 6 months. This Administration is a joke and a disgrace to the nation.

Posted by ArsalanMujahidGhouri on (May 19, 2011, 14:07 GMT)

Pak nation should prepare themselves to see Kamran as the future captain of Pakistan. To me, Afridi should drop from team when he completed 3 years of his cricket. He proved himself consistently inconsistent, with no brain and big mouth. He waste 15 years of Pakistan cricket to remain at one slot.

Posted by smartguy786 on (May 19, 2011, 14:03 GMT)

BUTT MUST GO, but who has the powers to sack, Maybe Obama!

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 13:57 GMT)

Mr Butt is absolutely incredible. He is hell bent on destroying Pakistan cricket. He's unstoppable. Time and again, he comes up with some devastating decision. So many captains in 3 years.... Ridiculous ..... Is he so close to president zardari that he has turned pcb into personal property. When will he ever leave . Not that i'm great Afridi fan. Think he is a negative captain but he has been improving all Time and should have been persisted with. Misbah is even more defensive minded and negative. He let go chances to win tests v/s south africa new zealand and windies but failed to do so coz of negativity. Main problem is with waqar younis ... He does not want senior players, his ex- mates, in team hence conflict with afridi. He wants to boss younger players, Pakistan cricket is doomed till Butt is in power. arshad

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

never ending television series.... boring.....

Posted by Z.Saleem on (May 19, 2011, 13:51 GMT)

Osman you have written everything right here and I 100% agree with u, I think the whole Pakistan cricket team fans think that its time to kick Butt out of PCB and appoint Miandad as the head. The team was doing great and Afridi was leading the side with pure honesty, hard-work and dedication! This Team Mr. Butt should get a kick on his BUTT and thrown out of PCB which he considers as his Private Property!

Posted by   on (May 19, 2011, 13:50 GMT)

People were beginning to think Ijaz Butt is not working anymore; therefore he comes with his stupidity once again with a BANG!!

Posted by Realhotshady on (May 19, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

One thing Pakistan cricket should change is a man man named Butt. Until he is governing the PCB, Pakistan are not going ahead. Butt's decision to remove Afridi is ridiculous. Afridi has been one of the best captain for Pakistan considering the resources he had. But Butt is not concerned with that. He is just concerned about showing his power that he can remove any captain any time without any reason.

Posted by vswami on (May 19, 2011, 13:24 GMT)

It normally takes two people to fight with each other. But in the case of Pakistan, even if PCB removed Waqar and installed no replacement, Afridi will pick himself to fight with. Its a hopeless situation.

Posted by harshalb on (May 19, 2011, 13:22 GMT)

What do you expect from someone who brags about having "crushed player power". On his part Afridi has behaved quite immaturely by publicly criticizing Waqar Younus. A player who cannot sort out these types of differences amicably or at least privately is trying to become larger than the team. I am an Indian who likes Afridi in spite of what he said about Indians after the WC semifinal loss because at heart he seems like a good person but he is too emotional. He should not have been removed because that is a backward step for Pakistan. He should remain the captain and learn to be more respectful of others.

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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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