Former skippers back Azhar as ODI captain


Former Pakistan captains Wasim Akram and Shahid Afridi have offered their support to embattled ODI captain Azhar Ali and urged the board to show faith in him.

Pakistan had already slipped to ninth in the ICC ODI rankings even before their 4-1 thrashing in the series against England which has led many to call for Azhar to get the chop.

Should Pakistan fail to move back into the top 8 before 30 September 2017 they will be forced to compete in the qualifying tournament in 2018, Pakistan can move above the West Indies by beating them in all three ODIs in the UAE but will then have to fight to hold onto those points through a tough series in Australia.

Akram told the media in Karachi: “I don’t think it is fair to reach a judgment about Azhar Ali’s captaincy after just 20 to 22 matches as captain.

“I think any captain should be given a proper run of at least 30 to 35 matches before a judgment is made about. Azhar has performed as a player in one-day cricket the main challenge for him now is to mould the team and for this I think he needs to be given more time.

“We lost 1-4 to England in the ODI series but let us not forget they are a very good one day side right now and we are struggling to rebuild in this format.”

Another former captain Afridi urged the PCB to be patient with Azhar and give him time to show what he can do.

Afridi said: “We should not take hurried decisions. Azhar has done well as a player in one-day cricket and he needs more time before we can decide whether he is a good ODI captain or not.”