Pakistan news May 28, 2010

Give Shahid Afridi time, says Imran Khan

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has come out in support of Shahid Afridi, saying the allrounder should be given a long run as captain to avoid the destabilising effect of frequent changes at the top.

"Since I retired in 1992, Australia has had only three captains while Pakistan has had more than two dozen and that is why there is a big difference between Pakistan and Australia," Imran told AFP.

According to Imran, Afridi was the logical choice to lead Pakistan as he is already the Twenty20 captain. "Who else if not Afridi?" Imran said. "I think if they had made anyone else captain, problems would surely have persisted, so I think Afridi was the best choice available."

Imran said Afridi has to be given time if he is to develop into a good leader. "Afridi has been leading the team well in the Twenty20 format. A good captain should be brave, can handle pressure and should have the respect of the team, so let us give Afridi some time to settle and then judge him.

"You can never predict about him as a Test player and a captain until you give him a chance. If he was not playing Tests and now he intends to play, then maybe with responsibility he performs better."

Pakistan's current captaincy crisis was precipitated by Younis Khan's resignation and the sacking of Mohammad Yousuf. The PCB then appointed Afridi to lead the team during the World Twenty20 and earlier this week made him captain for the Asia Cup next month and the subsequent tour to England.

Khan also said he is in favour of having having one captain for all formats of the game. "Cricket is the only sport where you need able leadership and if a captain is successful in one format he could be successful in all three."