Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ashraf says captaincy to Misbah for Champions Trophy

Ashraf says captaincy to Misbah for Champions Trophy

Any threat to the test and one day captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq had dissipated by the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf during a meeting with the players in Johannesburg.

Ashraf, who met players and team management during a visit to Johannesburg to watch the final one-day international between Pakistan and South Africa, Misbah said that he remains as captain for the Champions Trophy in England in June and be prepared for the challenge.

"Misbah said before the final game should not worry about his captaincy and place in the team as he leads the team in the Champions Trophy and he just needs to focus on trying to win one-day series against South Africa," said a Source.

The source said Ashraf had also praised the players for their comeback in the ODI series, but made clear that no player - senior or junior - to take his place for granted.

Ashraf also added that the board was giving them all facilities and incentives, so also expect to pay with good performances.

A lobby in the Pakistan cricket community had been insisting that Misbah tenure as captain and player one day was over and it would be replaced by Muhammad Hafeez as skipper for the Champions Trophy.

But the source insisted that from the moment Misbah returned to form in the one-day series, he was more sure of himself and of his captaincy.

The source said Ashraf had also discussed the appointment of a permanent batting coach assured the team that the coach would be appointed before the Champions Trophy.

"The technical committee has been told to revive and fast track your search and recommend candidates for the post of batting coach. Names of some of the former Pakistan players, including Zaheer Abbas is also being considered for the position" said the source.

The council has appointed former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as batting consultant to work with the players before the team went to India for the one-day series in December.

Inzamam also wanted to send the team to South Africa, but later dropped the plan after failing to reach an agreement with former captain, who had demanded a two-year contract and fees equivalent to what is paid to coach Dav Whatmore.

The source said the national selection committee has also been asked to continue until the Champions Trophy.

"The board has informed the selectors that will select the squad for the Champions Trophy even though his term had ended the tour of South Africa," said the source.

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