Pakistan news October 14, 2014

Afridi's comments irresponsible - PCB chief

The PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has expressed disappointment with Shahid Afridi's comments after the third ODI in Abu Dhabi.

Afridi, in the post-match press conference, had mentioned that he came to know about his being named the stand-in captain through the media. And when asked if he would like to continue as the one-day captain until the World Cup, Afridi had said, "I think whoever is captain - Misbah or me - we should know about it. If I am to captain in the World Cup then I should know about it."

With Misbah-ul-Haq having said that he wasn't a given to lead the side at the World Cup, Afridi's statement had added to growing doubts about who would lead Pakistan in the World Cup, but Shaharyar dismissed them stating Misbah had the boards backing to lead Pakistan in the World Cup. The PCB in a release last month had stated that Misbah would lead Pakistan at the World Cup.

"I want to tell you categorically that it's incorrect (the uncertainty)," Shaharyar said. "The PCB has nominated Misbah as captain until the World Cup and there's no change in it. Whether Misbah played the third ODI or not, the board recognises Misbah as the captain of Pakistan until the World Cup

"I am disappointed that Shahid Afridi said few irresponsible things in his press conference. We are looking into it. Whether he breached code or not, the statement he gave had people in doubts and I see it as very unfortunate."

"There are those who talk about Afridi as captain, but it's the selectors who have to think if he deserves to be in the team in first place or not. I see an improvement in his bowling, but his batting… you know how it is."

Shaharyar was also unsure about Moin taking on dual responsibility. In addition to travelling with the team as its manager, Moin is also the chief selector. "I am against the two slots Moin is occupying, but I am not the one who will undo the previous decisions, we will follow corporate culture and after consulting with experts I will take decisions.

"One thing you should keep in mind that when I came in I said continuity and stability are the two principles which I would follow."

Pakistan have been in a prolonged slump. They lost both the Test and ODI series in Sri Lanka and their batting was found wanting in the matches Australia, including them failing to score the requisite two runs to win off the final over in Abu Dhabi.

Shaharyar noted that some of the players are unable to handle pressure and said it was the player's responsibility to rectify that and not the coach's.

"Winning and losing are part of the game. We have lost the last two series. I know it's not the right time to question the team's performance and it won't be beneficial," he said. "We should have won two matches and in the last match we couldn't score two runs in the last over. Irresponsible batting, irresponsible strokes.

"They [Moin and company] select on their judgment, I don't interfere in the selection, while selecting players you have to see the crisis management and I think few of the players are failing on it."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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