Afridi backs under-fire Misbah

Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi, who is being tipped to replace Misbah-ul-Haq as captain of the ODI team for next year’s World Cup, has come out in support of his current captain.

“Misbah has been leading the side well since the last few years and he has also been our most prolific batsman. I think we all need to support him even if he has had one bad series,” Afridi said. “It is unfair to criticize him so much after just one bad series as captain and batsman. He has been a stable influence on the team and he needs support at this stage for the World Cup.”

Misbah has been Test captain since 2010 but he replaced Afridi as the captain of the one-day and T20 squads in only in May 2011 after Afridi had a spat with the PCB.

“I have no issues playing under Misbah’s captaincy because he has been there for a while now and has been performing consistently since 2010. We depend on Misbah and few other seniors,” he said. “But it is time the junior players also put up their hands and took responsibility to perform. If we play as a unit, I am sure we will start doing well again and I just want to see the team winning again before the World Cup.”

Afridi also praised the role of head coach Waqar Younis who he called a “changed person”. Afridi was stripped of the captaincy after differences with Waqar in 2011, but he said that the incident was a thing of the past.

“Waqar worked very hard with the team in Sri Lanka and the players got a lot of support from the team management even under pressure. There is lot of team spirit in this side and I am confident we can start winning again soon it is a matter of time.

“I enjoyed working with Waqar. He is a different person now and you can see the team management just wants the team to click and do well.”

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