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April 22, 2007
Former captain Rameez Raja backed the appointment of young Shoaib Malik as Pakistan's captain but stressed that he needs a strong system and support from all corners to succeed.
Malik, on Thursday, became the 25th man to captain Pakistan after Inzamam-il-Haq had decided to resign following a dreadful World Cup campaign that saw them crash out in the group stages.
"On one side it is a good decision because he is gutsy and a team player but he can be emotional and temperamental because he has not been tested at the top level so he needs a strong system for support," Raja told AFP.
"I am a bit guarded as well, it's young leadership but it can only be good if you strengthen the system which must assure the young talent is not taken hostage by senior players," he added.
Malik's selection at the helm came about after Inzamam's deputy of two years, Younis Khan, turned down the board's offer to take on the team's captaincy and other senior players like Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzak and Shahid Afridi were over-looked for various reasons.
"It is a right decision because every team is now looking four years ahead to give it a refreshing look and for me it is a chance worth taking and its now up to Malik to show his capabilities," said Raja.
Malik's first assignment as captain will be in next month's Abu Dhabi series against Sri Lanka which starts on May 9. The team for that tournament will be announced by the recently-appointed selection committee on May 6.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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