Shoaib Malik defends his captaincy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Shoaib Malik has defended his 14-month tenure as Pakistan captain amid speculation that a leadership change could be in the offing after the resignation of Nasim Ashraf as chairman of the PCB.

"I did not tell anybody to make me captain,"

Malik told the Karachi-based Dawn.

"I was chosen to lead Pakistan and I have been doing the job in the best possible manner."

Malik highlighted Pakistan's successes during his time in charge.

"We did well in the World Twenty20 [where Pakistan reached the final], and remember, Pakistan also won 12 consecutive one-dayers with me as captain."

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were whitewashed in a couple of bilateral series, results which are primarily responsible for Malik's 20-10 win-loss record in ODIs.

"A record is a record,"

he said,

"and the opponents we play is not under my control."

Pakistan went on to win the Kitply Cup, a tri-nation tournament in Bangladesh, but doubts about Malik's captaincy persisted when they failed to reach the final of the Asia Cup, which was held in Karachi. Pakistan also lost their two Test series when he was in charge, first against South Africa at home, and then in India.

However, Malik's deputy, Misbah-ul-Haq, said he had no aspirations to become Pakistan captain.

"Obviously, leadership brings extra load of responsibility and I am enjoying my present status of vice-captain in the team,"

he said.

"I know it is a great honour to be the captain of the team but I feel content where I am."

Malik's comments come a day after Intikhab Alam, the former Pakistan captain, criticised his leadership abilities.

"I don't think he has the ability to keep players together,"

Alam told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

"Malik is not impressive at all and it's better the PCB should start looking for a new captain to lead the side against India at home."

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?