Afridi named Pakistan Twenty20 captain
Pakistan's star all-rounder Shahid Afridi was on Wednesday named captain for its Twenty20 International match against Sri Lanka in Colombo, August 12.
Afridi takes over the Twenty20 captaincy from Younis Khan, who retired from the shortest format of the game after leading Pakistan to a memorable title triumph in the World Twenty20 in England last month.
Afridi's appointment as Twenty20 captain was widely anticipated, but it also triggered rumours that it was a one-off assignment for the experienced Karachi-based player, who played a pivotal role in his team's successful campaign in the World Twenty20.
However, in an interview from Dambulla (Sri Lanka), Afridi said that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Salman Butt has assured him that he would stay as Pakistan's Twenty20 captain till the next year's World Twenty20 in the West Indies.
Afridi, 29, said captaincy is unlikely to affect his performance.
"I don't think my performance will be affected by this honour," he said. "My focus will remain on giving my best for the team and hopefully I will carry on from where I left in the Twenty20 World Cup."
After the World Twenty20, Afridi opted out of the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka but is now back in the 16-man Pakistan squad for the one-day series that gets underway in Dambulla from Thursday.
It will be the first time Afridi will lead the national team in any format of the game, nearly 13 years after making his Pakistan debut.
Afridi, though, has plenty of captaincy experience at the domestic level, having been at the helm of Habib Bank Limited, Sindh and Karachi Dolphins over the past few years.
"Captaining Pakistan shouldn't be a problem for me. I'm confident that the team will give its best," he said.