Pakistan’s World Twenty20 loss to India could spell the end of Shahid Afridi’s rein as captain with the country’s cricket board planning to sack him irrespective of the team’s performance in the remainder of the tournament.
“There is clear discontent in the board about Afridi and his performances and captaincy and even if he decides against retiring after the World T20, the board will not retain him as captain any longer and even his days as a player are ending now,” a Pakistan Cricket Board source said. “The board is also privately not happy with the media statements of Afridi and believe it is time to move on,” he said.
Sources said PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has indicated even the current selection committee could be disbanded after the World T20. “No matter whether Pakistan reaches the semi-finals or even wins the title the selection committee headed by Haroon Rasheed is on its way out,” one source confided.
He said the inquiry committee formed by the board to probe into the performance of the team in Asia Cup had already held three meetings and expressed discontent with the performance of the selectors and management. In one of the meetings the committee members questioned chief selector Haroon Rashid and the other selectors Saleem Jaffer, Azhar Khan and Kabir Khan separately.
“What emerged was that some of the selectors complained Haroon kept them isolated on some key decisions while the chief selector blamed the captain and coach for some of the players selected in recent times,” the source said. He said that the board was also contemplating appointing a new coach and would not extend Waqar Younis’s contract when it expires before the tour to England in summer.
“Initially the plan was to extend Waqar’s contract till the England tour but now this seems unlikely and there is discussion about having a foreign coach or a local one,” another source disclosed. Pakistan’s former pacer Aaqib Javed, who has worked as coach with the national under-19 and A teams and was also the bowling coach with the senior team, is tipped to replace Waqar.