Pakistan news January 20, 2011

PCB issues Waqar notice over captaincy comments

ESPNcricinfo staff

The PCB has issued national coach Waqar Younis a notice for expressing surprise over the board's decision to not name the captain when it announced Pakistan's final squad for the World Cup. Waqar had said it "would have been better" if the selectors had named the captain along with the final 15, and that not doing so "would only lead to issues".

"We have issued Waqar a notice asking him to explain his comments on the captaincy issue since he is under contract with the PCB," the board's media manager Nadeem Sarwar told PTI. He explained that under PCB's media policy it was binding on all team officials and players to avoid giving statements that questioned or negated the policies of the board.

In recent times, the PCB has adopted a new media policy for players and officials and has come down hard on any violations. The new guidelines also limit direct interaction between the team and journalists, and prefers the use of press releases.

The delay in naming the captain was criticised by several former cricketers and ex-selectors. It led to speculation that Misbah-ul-Haq could take over the one-day leadership from Shahid Afridi, who has been the captain in the limited-overs formats since the 2010 Asia Cup. After taking over from Salman Butt, who was suspended following the spot-fixing controversy, Misbah has sparked a resurgence as the Test captain, leading Pakistan to a draw against South Africa and a series win in New Zealand. The move to name him as vice-captain for the New Zealand ODIs is seen as a means of putting pressure on Afridi, who has struggled for form.

Before leaving for New Zealand, however, Afridi said he was not worried about the position. "I am not worried about the captaincy, it never worries me," he said. "I have never run after the captaincy in my entire career. It is something for the cricket board to decide. If they feel I am the right man they will appoint me and if they don't they will make someone else captain.

"I am a senior professional and I know what I have to do. I have to lead the team to win the series and perform well as player. I know our winning the series will be very important because if we win in New Zealand it will give us a boost for the World Cup."