'Captaincy issue dividing Pak team'

Greater Kashmir

Karachi, Jan 24: Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is the latest to criticise Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to delay the announcement of captain for the World Cup and said by doing this the PCB has created two divisions within the national team.
“By not announcing the captain just three weeks before the World Cup, the board has split the players into Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul Haq groups,” Inzamam said.
The former batsman, who represented his country in 120 Tests and 388 ODIs including five World Cup appearances, said the PCB had created an unnecessary crisis over the captaincy issue and it will affect the team in the mega-event starting February 19 in Dhaka.
“I just don’t understand what they are trying to do. In such circumstances I don’t have much high hopes from this team in the coming tournament,” Inzamam told the ‘Jang’ daily newspaper.
“Human beings are powerless against fate and you can never rule out a miracle from this team. But at the moment it looks to me their fate will be the same what was in 2003 and 2007,” he said.
The PCB has announced their final World Cup squad but stopped short of naming the captain, a move which did not go well with many former players including team’s chief coach Waqar Younis.
While Afridi is presently leading Pakistan in the ODI series in New Zealand, Misbah, who captained the side in the Test matches, is his deputy.
Both the players are seen as strong contenders for captaincy in the World Cup and indications are that Afridi’s chances of retaining the position will depend on his and the team’s performance in the ongoing series against New Zealand.
Inzamam, who led Pakistan in the last World Cup, said in the existing circumstances he feared for the worst.
“I just hope the disappointment of last World Cup is not repeated,” he said.
Pakistan were knocked out in the first round of the 2007 Caribbean World Cup.
The 40-year-old right-hander said the ongoing problems have proved that the present office bearers of PCB have failed miserably in discharging their duties.
“The board has failed badly in its administration. It is very disappointing to see the indisciplined functioning of the board officials.
“If this team does not perform in the World Cup unfortunately, again it would be the players who will have to bear the criticism and some may have to see their careers sacrificed,” Inzamam said.
Inzamam said if the PCB wanted to make Misbah the captain for all formats of the game they could do it but he should be given more time to settle down in the team.
“To change the captain at this time would be disastrous for the team. It wouldn’t work. In 2003 also we faced a similar situation when Waqar was the captain. But their were talks of making Wasim Akram the captain which divided the team into groups and we performed poorly in that tournament,” he recalled.
“The World Cup team has been picked without the input or consent of the captain or coach so why blame them if it flops in the World Cup,” he added.