Saturday, January 22, 2011

10 reasons why Afridi should be Captain

After being humiliated by the Blackcaps today, Pakistan cricket team captain Shahid Afridi must be cursing the day he took on this job. Pakistan cricket captaincy has always been a poisoned chalice ever since the incomparable & unrivaled Imran Khan left the scene after winning the 1992 world cup.

Board shenanigans, infighting, back-biting and bad press are just a few things a Pakistani captain has to deal with besides other off-field issues. Add to that, managing and leading a bunch of supposedly professional players who act like 8 years old makes the job less appealing than leading French forces against the Wehrmacht in WW2.

Afridi - Contemplating hi ball-biting skills

Ever since the PCB decided not to name a captain for the upcoming world cup, the Pakistani cricketing grapevine (which apparently only consists of the macho MIB and Yahya Hussaini for the Geo Super head honchos) has been rife with rumors of a rift between the captain and coach. Cricketing pundits are expecting a swift coup by none other than Misbah-burn-my-kit-if-not-selected-ul-Haq just before the mega event.

At the risk of being labeled as an Afridi fan-boy I present to you 10 reasons why Afridi should lead Pakistan in the upcoming World Cup.

1.    Lala comes across as a man who does not know the meaning of the word tactically astute but there is no one else in the team who is as inspirational as the Khan from Khyber Agency.
2.    The man is a livewire in the field and continuously inspires confidence in the field with his now trademark pat-on-the-back after every delivery.
3.    Afridi was the ODI captain of Pakistan during its toughest time and led the team to 2 close series losses against two very good ODI units.
4.    The respect and adulation the fellow players have for Afridi is immense and cannot be discounted in a team where being a senior is akin to being untouchable.
5.    You CAN NOT change captains so close to the World Cup.
6.    Despite of what people say, he has been the leading run scorer and wicket taker for Pakistan during the last 12 months.
7.    Performs when it matters, refer to his two MoM performances in the T20 WC 2009.
8.    Is honest and dedicated to the cause. Can’t say that about many Pakistan players.
9.    After 15 years he still is, and there should be no doubt about it, Pakistan’s talisman.
10. Stripping him from captaincy can have a negative impact on his and the team’s performance since he is an integral part of the setup.

Did I mention his hair?


  1. You didnt mention the biggest reason i.e Afridi doesnt have brain

  2. Some valid arguments are in your favour AA, however I strongly beg to differ. The guy is an honest character, but a careless, irresponsible and tactically weak skipper is simply a poor one. I feel we are playing against our strengths when he is captaining and making it even harder for ourselves. Misbah's professionalism, leadership, responsibility and tactical intelligence is where Pakistan can thrive and maximise their effectiveness as a unit. Unless things drastically improve in this ODI series, I am expecting Afridi to get the sack. Misbah in no new kid on the block either, he is already captaining the Test side with overwhelming success so there should be limited problems when adapting and changing, if anything I will feel considerably more confident about Pakistan's general chances in the forthcoming 10th ICC Cricket World Cup if that happens. Not an ideal situation by any stretch of the imagination, but a step I am willing to accept for the short term betterment of Pakistan Cricket.

  3. @ Maaz: My only real issue is the time we have invested in nurturing the team and Afridi's leadership will go to waste.

    Change the captain if you want, but do to after the WC is done and dusted.

  4. He has barely done anything in nurturing a team AA!

    1) 6 consecutive T20 losses
    2) Failed to successfully retain the World T20 title
    3) Complete flop in Asia Cup
    4) Lost both ODI series against South Africa and England

    It's not like he has made progress and built a winning unit. The Pakistani public simply will not accept a 3rd consecutive disastrous World Cup. We can do well under his captaincy because of the talent and depth we have, but we will be heavily relying on individual brilliances as opposed to a well commanded structured organised composed systematic collective team effort.

  5. Since the WC is a 50 over competition i think it is useless to talk about our recent T20 troubles.

    Afridi led by example during the Asia Cup and was the stand out performer in the 3 games we played. Not his fault that the rest of the team could not chase down the Sri Lankan total and both Akhtar & Aamir bowled bdly against India.

    Yes he did lose both he series against 2 top teams but the circumstances under the which the series were played didn't favor us at all. Yet we managed to match those teams until the final game of both series.

  6. pls dont change the captaincy now.maybe after world cup

  7. Fuck captain! bring aamir back!

  8. Afridiiiiii is the Best!!! Misbah is Over reacting and Over confident!!!! huh!!!

  9. Maaz,

    The ODI series against England and South Africa were very closely fought under tough conditions (heck, if it wasn't for the umpiring, we would've won in England 4-1). I don't think it's fair to dismiss the competitiveness Afridi has shown in his last two ODI series, specially when you are going to call Misbah's performance as captain (a drawn 0-0 series on lifeless pitches tailor-made for draws + a 1-0 victory over a thoroughly deflated NZ side) an OVERWHELMING SUCCESS. :)

    Also, Afridi might not be in the best form himself, but don't forget that he did score TWO centuries in Sri Lanka as recently as June. In Sri Lanka. Where ALL of our pre-QF matches in the WC will be. In fact, in the Asia Cup he was pretty much playing against both SL and half his own team in that heroic innings vs. SL. That we didn't end up winning does not by any means make him a less capable player.

    Misbah, OTOH, doesn't deserve a spot in the side. ODIs are nothing like Tests (or T20s, for that matter), but it should be noted that as impressive as his performance as captain in the Tests v SA and NZ has been, the same defensive, play-it-safe approach does not lead to victory in ODIs. IMO, picking Misbah as captain at this stage is kind of like Waqar in 2003 - my guess is that even the players who might support him for whatever political reasons right now don't think he deserves to be in the team.

    Also, the ODI team is very different from the Test team, so keep in mind that making Misbah captain would mean he would be leading certain players he has never led nor (in some cases) played much with recently.

  10. Diffrence between Afridi and Misbah:
    Afridi na hara hoa t20 wc 2009 jetwaya tha aur Misbah na jeta ho t20 wc 2007 harwaya tha!


  11. Afridi is a source of energy Misbah is of calm ness. Both have value. Changing captain would certainly risk unity (if there is any) in the team. I am afraid delaying the announcement has allready done so much of the damage.

  12. Couldn't have said it better myself Sana, always enjoy reading your posts on PP.

    @ Maaz bhai: Write that "10 reasons why Misbah should be named captain" article, I'l post it on the PCT page.

  13. Kazmi,

    You have highlighted some interesting points. I strongly disagree that Misbah does not even deserve a place in the ODI side! The guy is highly underappreciated amongst even the closest of Pakistani Cricket followers. His middle order anchor role stability can be invaluable and also provide the batting line up with balance and variation. Obviously we cannot have aggressive stroke makers all the way down with the exception of YK. Moreover, he is in the form of his life nowadays and scoring heavily and therefore deserves an opportunity to prove to his doubters, he means business. He is probably one of the best batsmen in the country right now. He was really unlucky not to break into the national side at an earlier age, otherwise he could have done wonders as a player. Certainly at the moment is capable of playing all 3 formats for Pakistan and playing a key role too.

    Tactically we all know Afridi is about as bad as it gets. Some of his field positioning, bowling changes & genuine failure to read match situations is NOT what you want from a national skipper. I don't buy into this stuff that you make your talisman your captain based on his form, talent and over excessive popularity. Captaincy is a much larger concept then just this.

    Sorry to disagree, but Misbah would ideally get my vote any day and unless Afridi proves a few points in this series, I don't see any problem with changing captains, even at this late stage.

    Afridi's bowling form has not been the same since he has been appointed captained as well. He was averaging 45 runs per wicket in 2010! Under Younis in the pre-oath saga he was a real trump card with the ball.

    4 positive results in Tests are really heartening to see. Beating New Zealand in their back yard is never easy and 2 fighting draws against SA in UAE is definitely a special achievement regardless of the nature of the wickets as we were on the back foot both times and were re-establishing our credibility in Test Cricket.

  14. AA

    Got a few college assignments this weekend.

    Let's wait for another game to pass at least!


    read the real conspiracies against AFRIDI

  16. I'm in your favor, what ya all said in favor of afirdi. He's energetic, experienced, friendly to other players, boosting and encouraging them, and does show the real performance when it does matter. But mostly these went vanish, when he became the skipper.
    And Misbah as captain, no way, for god sake, didn't ya all noticed, how cowardly he did draw the last tests in both series Vs Africa as well as Vs new-Zealand recently? He's not an attacking skipper as it'd be.
    The only solution to show some good performances in up-coming WC, Younis Khan should be declared as the skipper of team "Green Shirts". He's gotten each and every, even the finest ever ability, a skipper should have, and let afridi to play his natural booming game with out any extra pressure.
    Team PAKISTAN,our prays are with YOU.....

  17. yes thats true he is our hero and we all should give him respect like the indians respect their stars...he is the real man to lead pakistan team....he is honest and INSHALLAH he can win the world cup for us but the only thing is that pcb should trust him and elect him as a captian of luch shahid lala

  18. Delay to announce a captain will again devide team in to groups.what PCB is doing.It is true that Afridi is not a good choice for captain but from long time he is doing the job PCB should go with him.And think about leader of team after World cup.It will be good for team athor wise result will be zero.And they should go for a young captain after World cup.

  19. shahid bhai ko banao captain

  20. warm up match main mohd aamir salman butt or mohd asif ko prectice ke liye khilana ta k farm main aajae word cup ka pahle match main ahmed shahzad asad shafiq ko shamil krna jase un k farm ka pata chale 26 ka jo sri lanka ka us salman aamir asif ko khilana ahmed shahzad asad shafiq or wahab riaz drap krna salman or mohd hafeez ko opning krwana plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz usko parhooooo yarrrr hamari bat mano isa krne shaiad hm match jeet jaee can nz zim aus ke khilaf sri lanka wali squad uthana salman aamir asif best player asad shafiq or wahab shahzad ko kiniya ke khilaf khilana wahab riaz ko nhi uthana us ki jaga shoaib bhai ko uthana INSHALLA SRILANKA WALI KINIYA CANADA NEW Z ZIM AUS match hm jeetainge shahid bhai new zealand wali 5 match jeet kr sabit kro k tum achi captain ho yaar

  21. afridi is a brave leader there is no other able player just afridi

  22. Pakistan Need Aggressive captain right now... and afridi is there....

  23. i,m wd boom boom INSHALLAH HE will lead the pak 11 in the world cup.boom boom hav the current which pak need desporatly durin the mega event . And i hope ammir will b in actiont the world cup.'GOOOD LUCK TO PAK TEAM N ALSO 4 BOOM BOOM'

  24. Brilliant one AA. Absolutely valid points there and u forgot to mention that he was the only Pakistani to score 2 centuries and they were back-to-back one coming against finalist of 2007 WC Sri Lanks and hitting Murali for 50 odd runs in 20 odd balls isn't easy on Asian turning wickets! Regarding Misbah, it is a better option but wrong time! However as traditionally when a skipper changed our team does well in first couple of series and then the downfall starts from there so Misbah might do well in his first assignment. But overall its a risk and Pakistan don't seem to have a valid plan ahead plus taking such risk isn't the best way forward so stick to Boom Boom!

  25. If There is Rule Follows So then Any One will be Captain and Pakistan will always win the Trophies , Series , World Cup But If there is Group baziz Then Pakistan will never Go Up .. Simply Finish This All Group baziz ...
    my QUestion is That When Misbah Captain Against NZ on Thest matches Why They all Played Well When Afridi Captain why they All Played Bad So There is the big reasion that please Follow the Rules and Play cricket for Country Not for captainc pleaseeeeeeeeeee