Mushtaq backs Afridi as future Pak captain

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has expressed his support for seasoned all-rounder Shahid Afridi as the new Pakistan captain.

updated: October 04, 2008 13:51 IST
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Pakistan cricket officials are under immense pressure to replace current skipper Shoaib Malik with a more aggressive captain ahead of the crunch home series against India in January.

Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed is the latest to join the bandwagon and has expressed his support for seasoned all-rounder Shahid Afridi as the new Pakistan captain.

Mushtaq is of the view that Afridi would make a better captain than Malik for the Pakistan team.

"Leadership is all about the ability to make tough decisions and man management, I think Afridi has good skills in those areas," Mushtaq said in an interview on Saturday.

"Leadership isn't about winning the game for your team. It's about influencing others and having their confidence in your decisions.

"It's nice to have a captain who leads from the front but your best player does not necessarily make the best captain," he said.

Malik, 26, was appointed Pakistan captain after the team's humiliating first round exit from the 2007 World Cup. Since then he has been mostly criticised for failing to inspire his team which suffered Test defeats against South Africa and India last year.

The Sialkot-born all-rounder drew flak from former Pakistan Test stars after his team failed to make the final of the Asia Cup on home soil earlier this year.

Appointed for a two-year period by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Malik's stint is set to be over this December.

Many ex-Test cricketers have backed middle-order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq as the next Pakistan captain but former players like Moin Khan and Mushtaq believe that Afridi would be a better choice.

"I would always go with a senior player as captain," said Mushtaq.

"Younis (Khan) initially refused the job, but I heard afterwards he changed his mind. Anyway they still had Yousuf and Afridi. After Younis they were the best two players to become captain," Mushtaq concluded.