Pakistan news April 30, 2014

Misbah to remain captain till World Cup, says Sethi

PCB chairman Najam Sethi and the chairman of Pakistan's selection committee Moin Khan appear to be at loggerheads over who will lead Pakistan at the World Cup. Moin had mentioned a possible change in leadership on Tuesday, but the notion was shot down by Sethi, who said today he had decided to stick with Misbah-ul-Haq.

"To be honest a change in captaincy was discussed," Moin had said at a press conference in Karachi. "We have to take a decision, with consensus with everyone within the PCB and the incoming head coach. Whoever is better for Pakistan will be the captain [for the World Cup]."

Sethi, though, threw his weight behind Misbah. "According to the rules, the PCB chairman selects the selectors and the captains of the team, while the selectors select the teams," Sethi said. "Whatever be the personal view of the selectors regarding who should be the captain, I stand by my decision to retain Misbah-ul-Haq as captain until the World Cup."

Misbah, 39, was named full-time captain of the ODI team in 2011, and has led it in 71 ODIs overall, winning 39 while averaging 47.21 with the bat - that's better than his career average of 44.38 in 146 matches. In 32 games over the past 12 months - of which Pakistan won 16 - he averaged 52.00, and was the cornerstone of the batting.

Pakistan is set to a play 13 ODIs in next nine months, leading up to the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February and March. ESPNcricinfo understands that there are some who believe Shahid Afridi should take the reins from Misbah ahead of the showpiece event. Similarly for 2011 World Cup Misbah was a strong contender for the captaincy but, following weeks of uncertainty, Afridi was named captain.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson