The Pakistan Cricket Board is all set to name the captain of the national team for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 on Tuesday.
PCB is expected to announce the skipper of the national team during some domestic matches involving the senior side, A and under-19 teams scheduled to be held in Lahore.
While the PCB has named the captains of the national A side (Muhammad Hafeez) and under-19 team (Azeem Ghuman), it had not yet announced the skipper for the senior team, which will take on winners the match between Pakistan A and under-19 team under lights at the Gaddafi stadium on Tuesday to celebrate Pakistan Day.
“The board plans to announce the captain the same day. The player who will lead the national team in the festival match will also lead the team in the T20 World Cup,” a PCB official said.
While the PCB has excluded banned players like Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul Hasan from taking part in the match, the players who were fined recently are are included in the team.
“Shahid Afridi appears to be the strongest contender to get the captaincy of the T20 team once again, but you never know as PCB changes its mind every minute,” one official said.
However, with two important series lined up after the ICC World T20 in the West Indies, PCB is yet to make up its mids whether to name separate captains for the other formats of the game.
Pakistan will take on Australia in a Test series in England immediately after the ICC World T20, and then travel to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup before returning to England for another Test series.
“The board has to decide now whether it wants one captain for all three forms of the game or separate captains for T20, Tests and ODI cricket,” one official said.
Afridi was due to return home from Dubai later tonight after playing in the Emirates Cup T20 event where he led the Emirates Airlines team.
Interestingly, other lobbies in the cricketing fraternity are pushing for Abdul Razzaq or Misbah-ul-Haq to be the captain because of the recent fine imposed on Afridi and PCB’s decision to put him on six months probation for his behavior.
But PCB legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi explained that the fine won’t come in the way of Afridi becoming the skipper.
“The inquiry committee that recommended the punishment for the players has not suggested that any player not be considered for captaincy,” he said.
Rizvi said the decision to appoint the captain lay solely with PCB chairman Ejaz Butt.