Pakistan make Hafeez T20 captain

Pakistan on Thursday dropped captain Misbah-ul Haq from the Twenty20 squad and made all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez the new skipper after the series defeat to England.

The decision was widely expected after Misbah led Pakistan to a 2-1 loss in the three-match Twenty20 series against England in February.

Misbah, who turns 38 later this month, is regarded as too old for the fastest brand of the game, but will still lead Pakistan for one-dayers and Tests on next month's Sri Lanka tour.

Pakistan play two Twenty20s, five one-days and three Tests on the tour. They open with a Twenty20 match in Hambantota on June 1.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf said: "Misbah has been a great leader and he will remain captain for the one-days and Tests, but after consulting Misbah, we have decided to appoint Hafeez as new captain for the Twenty20."

The 31-year-old Hafeez, who will lead Pakistan for the first time, will also be Misbah's deputy in one-days and Tests.

Mohammad Hafeez
Pakistani cricketer, Mohammad Hafeez. Photo: AFP

Misbah said he was not retiring from Twenty20 cricket.

"I accept this decision and will continue to serve my country in the best possible manner," he said. "I have not decided to retire from the Twenty20 and will play at domestic level to stage a comeback," he added.

A delighted Hafeez, who has played 29 Twenty20s for Pakistan, said: "I owe a big thanks to the PCB and Misbah for thinking that I am capable enough to lead Pakistan.

"I will do my best to lift the team," he added.

Paceman Mohammad Sami, 31, was included in all three teams after a two-year break and middle-order batsman Faisal Iqbal was back in the Test squad after being sidelined in 2009.

Uncapped left-arm paceman Rahat Ali, who has 107 wickets in 27 first-class matches is in the one-day team, while batsmen Ayub Dogar and Afaq Raheem made the Test squad for the first time.


(Twenty20): Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Khalid Latif, Ahmed Shahzad, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shakeel Ansar, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanveer, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Sami, Hammad Azam, Nasir Jamshed

One-Day: Misbah-ul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Rahat Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Mohammad Sami, Asad Shafiq, Aizaz Cheema, Azhar Ali, Imran Farhat

Test: Misbah-ul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Ayub Dogar, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Mohammad Sami, Faisal Iqbal, Junaid Khan, Afaq Raheem, Mohammad Ayub, Aizaz Cheema

Tour itinerary:

June 1 : First Twenty20 international, Hambantota

June 3 : Second Twenty20 international, Hambantota

June 7 : First one-dayer, Pallekele

June 9 : Second one-dayer, Pallekele

June 13: Third one-dayer, Colombo

June 16: Fourth one-dayer, Colombo

June 18: Fifth one-dayer, Colombo

June 22-26: First Test, Galle

June 30-July 4: Second Test, Colombo

July 8-12: Third Test, Pallekele

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