Reprimanded Afridi clarifies comments

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been forced to take defensive action after making inflammatory comments about the captaincy, having demanded that the PCB clarify if he or Misbah would be the skipper at the World Cup.

Afridi led the side in the third ODI after Misbah opted to sit out, and after the game he said: “If I am to captain in the World Cup then I should know about it.”

The PCB were unimpressed, saying Misbah was definitely the skipper for the event in 2015, and Afridi then clarified that he would support his skipper fully, even though the job was ‘no bed of roses’.

Afridi said in a statement: “Let me state at the very outset, Misbah is the best choice as Pakistan captain for the ICC World Cup 2015.

“I have always backed him to the optimum whenever I have played under him, just as he had when I had the honour to captain the Pakistan team.

“I have already had the pride and honour to captain Pakistan several times. Trust me, it is no bed of roses, and all of us who have captained Pakistan, including Misbah, are fully aware of it.

“We get nothing more out of it than pride and honour; seldom do we get bouquets but more often brickbats.

“I have said this before, and I reiterate, that I shall continue to serve Pakistan Cricket and fully support Misbah to the best of my ability.

“This is my final statement on the issue.”

The PCB had reacted swiftly after Afridi’s initial comments, saying via chairman Shaharyar Khan: “The PCB has nominated Misbah as captain until the World Cup and there’s no change in it.

“Whether Misbah played the third ODI or not, the board recognises Misbah as the captain of Pakistan until the World Cup

“I am disappointed that Shahid Afridi said few irresponsible things in his press conference. We are looking into it. Whether he breached code or not, the statement he gave had people in doubts and I see it as very unfortunate.”