Pakistan v Australia 2010 July 16, 2010

Butt not an 'automatic' captaincy replacement

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The PCB are expected to meet on Friday to decide on a successor to Shahid Afridi as Test captain for the series against England. Salman Butt is the tour vice-captain and would normally be in line to take over, but that will not, according the the PCB chairman, happen "automatically."

Afridi caught everyone, including the PCB, off-guard by announcing his retirement from Test cricket immediately after his first Test as captain - and first Test in four years - which Pakistan lost to Australia by 150 runs at Lord's. He cited a side strain and temperamental incompatibility to the demands of the five-day game as factors behind the decision. The second Test at Leeds -fitness permitting - will be his last.

Yawar Saeed, the team manager, told Cricinfo that the vice-captain should take over, as per procedure and Waqar Younis, the coach, also suggested that Butt would take over but it is not inked in stone yet. "Shahid has officially informed me of the decision and we will meet tonight to discuss who will take over," Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, told Cricinfo.

"Salman Butt is the vice-captain but that does not automatically entitle him to take over just yet. A decision will be made soon." The meeting will include inputs from Waqar and Yawar and given Afridi's side strain, it could be that the new man takes over from the Headingley Test.

Options are not exactly bulging at the moment. The last two Test captains Pakistan have had - Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf - are both out of national reckoning; Yousuf has retired, though that is an impermanent state in Pakistan and though Younis's ban has been lifted, the PCB is still not keen to bring him back into the squad.

Media speculation in Pakistan suggested that Yousuf had been contacted by the board and asked to come to England, though it was unclear whether as a player or possible captain. But Butt said no contact had been made with Yousuf or Younis , who is currently playing for Surrey, though when asked about the possibility of them appearing at some stage of the tour, he refused to rule it out or in. "It is only one Test so far and I have not contacted either of them. I don't want to comment on it anymore. We will have a meeting and decisions will be made in that," Butt said

Shoaib Malik, who was captain until February 2009, is in England with the side but was not even picked for the Lord's Test. From the playing XI, only Kamran Akmal and Butt have the kind of experience which might begin to form the basis of a credible alternative. It seems inconceivable that they will appoint someone from beyond that trio.

Ijaz Butt had appointed Afridi as recently as the end of May, uniting the captaincy of Pakistan in all formats under one man again. "We must respect his decision," Butt said. "He came to me and told me categorically that he feels he is not suited to Test cricket and that he has taken the decision himself. It is very honest of him and we must respect that decision."

Afridi is keen to continue his career in ODI and Twenty20 cricket and though he has not clarifiied whether he would do so as captain, Butt hoped that he would.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    since world cup 07 we hvent seen consistency its all luCK

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    i dno why all these players are so emotional and mentally weak? Afridi led the team well while fielding i mean he ws coming bak to test criket afetr 4 years evn if he failed in one test doesnt mean he is no good.. many players fail including laxman and dravid and ponting bt they dnt jst retire .... afridi scored more runs than ricky ponting in this test....im sure he wud have improved nxt game and he jst had to calm down.. its typical in pak to blame the captain for the loss but the cap needs to be strong mentally n face criticism n move on!

  • Waqas_Rahman on July 17, 2010, 11:50 GMT

    In my view BUTT is the right choice. He is one player who has come through the ranks. He was Pakistan U-17 side, then Pakistan U-19 side and has been vice captain. He is one player who is performing on permanent basis and he is young. I think PCB needs to back him now. He is the man for the future. Leading this side which is full of politics and players who dont know how to seal the victory will be an uphill task for any player. BUTT has been with these players for more than half a decade. Keep politicians like Shoaib Malik out of this team. We dont want him and yes please kick managers like Yawar Saeed out too. For once, make a captain and back him. Go for BUTT. He has the knowledge and understanding of the game. It will be difficult for him and especially when given captaincy in the middle of the such a long and difficult tour. Dont expect much fromt this Pakistan side. Would want to see Younis and Yousuf back until and unless you dont have their replacement.

  • afridirokz on July 17, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Have u guys forgotten that younis khan cannot b considered for selection until he says 'sorry' to ijaz butt, and mohammad yousuf has retired and cannot b considered for selection as he haz not appealed against the ban and he iz serving the ban currently. the appeal date has already crossed long back! but u neva know, dis iz PCB - no appeal? no problem, ban? no problem, england tests? no problem, mohammad yousuf iz playing the test series against england!

  • shaantanu on July 17, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    afridi beats everyone at being the most hyped cricketer.yes he can be dangerous on his day but one swallow does not make a summer........i think pakistan should stop having a captain.one out of every 15 members can come out an toss on a rotation basis.n during the games decisions should be taken mutually amongst the playing 11.the end result of that would not be any different than having a regular captain n that way every playing 11 would be happy.

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Shoaib Malik should be the captain, he was much better among the captains. He is an obuais choice to be a captain for long term.

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2010, 7:26 GMT

    Afridi was a party to this as well...he did not have to accept Test Captaincy in the first place, but he had said there was no one else and he did it to help the country. Well what "help" did you do if you could not set aside a bit of your "senior" ego aside and at least TRY to have a better temperament and bat for an hour maybe? Is that too much to ask? We have seen him play defensive shots before in one dayers so why not Tests? Oh well, country's loss

  • shaantanu on July 17, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    pakistan cricket has become the laughing stock of the entire cricketing fraternity.......just recently afridi said he was ready for the captaincy 3-4 yrs back.n now it seems he was never really ready for it......13 straight losses to aus.thts a record a t nation with a long cricketing history can do without.ppl can go on n on posting comments but i think this circus called pakistan cricket will keep on entertaining ppl the world over.

  • mrbilaltahir on July 17, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    What a joke ..... I don't think Salman Butt will make a good player or captain. It would be a historical mistake for Pak cricket team. Its better to make captain any young blood like South African (Smith)

  • dummy4fb on July 17, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Please dont make Salman Butt. They guy is in the form of his life. Opt for Kamran Akmal or Younis Khan.

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