Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sought to end the controversy surrounding the captaincy of the national team when it released a statement on behalf of all-rounder Shahid Afridi, in which he pledged full support to Misbah-ul-Haq declaring him best man to lead in World Cup.
The board said in a late night release that Afridi wanted to clarify his position with regard to certain comments attributed to him on the captaincy issue. "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," Afridi stated in a media release.
"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," he was further quoted as saying.
"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," Afridi added. "This is my final statement on the issue," it ended. A PCB official made it clear that the board had dropped plans to pursue a disciplinary case against Afridi for the remarks he made at the post match conference after the third ODI.
The PCB Chairman, Shaharyar Khan came down hard on Afridi earlier at a press conference in Lahore blaming him for fanning an unnecessary controversy over the decision by Misbah-ul-Haq to step down as captain for the third ODI in Abu Dhabi.
Shaharyar also reiterated full support for Misbah to continue as captain until the World Cup 2015. At the post match conference, Afridi had fuelled speculations over whether Misbah had stepped down himself from the match or was pressurized into doing so by the team management which is said to favor Afridi to take over as the ODI captain for the World Cup.
"The remarks made by Afridi are regretful and unfortunate and he should have avoided them. His remarks gave the indication something was wrong in the team," Shaharyar said.