Pakistan news

Salman Butt named captain for rest of England tour

Osman Samiuddin

July 17, 2010

Comments: 64 | Text size: A | A

Salman Butt mixed watchful defence with aggression in his half-century, Pakistan v Australia, 1st Test, Lord's, July 15, 2010
Salman Butt will lead Pakistan in the five remaining Tests in England © Getty Images
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As was widely expected Salman Butt has been appointed Pakistan's Test captain for the rest of the summer in England, including the second Test against Australia in Headingley. Butt becomes the fifth man to lead the Test side since January 2009 and the 28th man to lead Pakistan, taking over from Shahid Afridi who announced a sudden retirement from Test cricket on Friday. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal will be his deputy.

The decision came early on Saturday after a meeting between the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, the team management and a group of senior players including Shoaib Malik, Akmal, Umar Gul and Salman. "We have appointed Salman as the captain for the rest of the Tests and we are confident that he will be able to do a good job with it," Ijaz told Cricinfo. "Everybody who was involved in the decision gave their approval."

At the time of Afridi's appointment, in May this year, Salman's name had come up in discussions though, as the administration was keen to unify the leadership of all formats under one man, they plumped for Afridi. Salman was appointed his deputy and though it seemed that he would take over yesterday, the PCB chairman had said that it wasn't an "automatic" decision.

However, steadily over the last six months, Salman has become one of Pakistan's most reliable batsmen across all formats; he's averaging over 40 in his last seven Tests with one hundred and four fifties and reinvented his entire game to shine at the World T20 in the Caribbean, a format in which he had previously struggled. In the Lord's Test, he was comfortably Pakistan's best batsman, top-scoring in each innings with 63 and 92.

There had been talk in the aftermath of the Lord's defeat that one of Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan - or both - might be called up to bolster an inexperienced middle order but for now the situation remains unchanged and unresolved. Yousuf is officially retired from international cricket and Younis and the PCB chairman are at odds despite the former's indefinite ban having been lifted.

"We did discuss both Yousuf and Younis in the meeting but we decided to defer the matter," Ijaz said, acknowledging also that the option to call them up at some point during the summer remains open. "I think we should appreciate that both the youngsters Azhar Ali and Umar Amin did very well given it was their debuts and my own feeling is that they should be persisted with," he added.

One person who will not be playing in the second Test is Afridi. Though he cited his temperamental unsuitability to the format, Afridi was also suffering from a side strain he picked up during the Asia Cup. "I worked out in the gym in the morning and I don't feel comfortable at all still. I will not be playing next week," Afridi told Cricinfo.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2010, 5:38 GMT)

Firstly Afridi made a fool of PCB. You cannot just resign because you've lost a test. Secondly Butt is not yet matured to lead a team. I pity the outcome of their English tour.

Posted by ihaq1 on (July 18, 2010, 12:31 GMT)

Afridi is good but he was becoming a bystander too..his position as a sort of second alrounder required a batsman who could bowl but he failed...also one feels that he played as a captain with an injury that reduced his ability...he should have stood down after the sri lanka series or become a captain who did not play...pakistan should concentrate on their batting and not allow teh australians to drag their innings to unnecessary lengths

Posted by ihaq1 on (July 18, 2010, 12:27 GMT)

we do not have the batting talent in this team to score 425 however they could be moulded in time with new emerging talent...we always look at the old hands and always forget looking at the newer options...a team cant get back its magic when its seniors fail and fade out...one has to depend on new talent...for test cricket we should look at players who score heavily in domestic cricket...for test cricket the fawad alams and faisal iqbals and imran farhats might not be able to the job and the selectors will have to look at teh available domestic talent and look for batsmen with perseverance and technique

Posted by ianChappellFan on (July 18, 2010, 10:44 GMT)

afridi is a wise man and also a wuss...he is wise because he knows pak doesnt have the batting to prevent defeat in any of the next 5 tests in england, in quick succession. if he persisted and lost all six, the backlash would be such that he might be kicked out of all formats as captain and player, such is pak cricket and its tempremental fans...he is a wuss because this would have been a great challenge to overcome even if he had won or drawn one or two test matches and fought in the other bravely, with this young side and had shown fight with his batting, it would have been a tremendous personal achievement against odds. but such guts are not present in pak cricket anymore, there arent any imran khan's anymore. and not only him there were others in the past who have shown such courage, wasim akram when he went for a new zealand tour as captain amid great adversity, and press on his throat and came back a hero.

Posted by RUQQ on (July 18, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

This is what Pakistan Cricket all about. Nobody cares about Cricket any more. I will not be surprised if after losing test series against Australia and England, They get rid of Salman Butt as Captain too, next candidate will be Kamran Akmal. 6th Captain with in less than two years.

I believe that Cricket Board should have to enforce Shahid Afridi to Captain the side till this tour or retire from all sorts of cricket. If you cant change yourself for your country than leave cricket. you are just worry about your own reputation. This is so annoying. This is a joke you only can found in Pakistan Cricket.

I don't know what is the role of Aaqib Javed, Waqar Younus, Mohsin Khan, Javed Miandad? Can't all these senior and respectable player sit with Shahid and give their full support to him and boost his confidence.

Again Mr Ijaz Butt left a bad example to involve in a dispute and made a really bad decision.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2010, 9:40 GMT)

@ ali majaz. misbah is what? 36+. not performed for more than 2 years? not to mention that a test average of 30 is NOT DECENT.ITS DOWNRIGHT SHAMEFUL. AFRIDIS test average is 37. Dude what are you talking about.

Posted by bravecavalier on (July 18, 2010, 7:50 GMT)

in the current set up persist with them and they will do well ...bring another player if need be from domestic and get rid of all the KHALIFAS

Posted by   on (July 18, 2010, 6:29 GMT)

Posted by Imad_K on (July 17 2010, 23:07 PM GMT) Leading on from my previous comment - really I can't see the Pakistani batsmen ever changing the way they bat. Not sure whether the board is responsible or the players. For years watching Pakistan play cricket - it's always the same old story now for the past 10/15 years and until they don't address this problem Pakistan will always struggle. THE PAKISTANI BATSMEN NEED TO STOP THROWING THEIR WICKETS AWAY AND PLAYING STUPID SHOTS. Sometimes I do wonder if these cricketers have a brain. It's normally the same old story of 40/3 max, other times they will be chasing 4 runs an over with 6 wickets left in a ODI and then decide to start hitting sixes and lose the game, trying to hit every ball for a boundary, chasing wide balls, hitting balls in the air for no reason - I agreed.... looking every ball 4 or six is stupid thing. batting very worst since from 50 over world cup final lose to Ausralia.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2010, 4:34 GMT)

BRING MISBAH UL HAQ & MOHAMMAD YOUSUF BACK ! thats it ! Umar Amin & Azhar Ali are too young for Test Cricket ! MISBAH UL HAQ averages solid in both T20 & ODI format and he has got a decent avg of 30 in TEST too... Why he is waiting back in pakistan !! This is totally unfair MISBAH UL HAQ should be back in the side along with YOUSUF !

Posted by Imad_K on (July 17, 2010, 23:07 GMT)

Leading on from my previous comment - really I can't see the Pakistani batsmen ever changing the way they bat. Not sure whether the board is responsible or the players. For years watching Pakistan play cricket - it's always the same old story now for the past 10/15 years and until they don't address this problem Pakistan will always struggle. THE PAKISTANI BATSMEN NEED TO STOP THROWING THEIR WICKETS AWAY AND PLAYING STUPID SHOTS. Sometimes I do wonder if these cricketers have a brain. It's normally the same old story of 40/3 max, other times they will be chasing 4 runs an over with 6 wickets left in a ODI and then decide to start hitting sixes and lose the game, trying to hit every ball for a boundary, chasing wide balls, hitting balls in the air for no reason - who doesn't the PCB address this problem. How comes during the time of Miandad, Z Abbas, Imran Khan - this never used to happen?

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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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