Islamabad:Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday appointed experienced allrounder Shahid Afridi captain of the team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies, bringing an end to the uncertainty on the leadership issue.
The honour for Afridi, who was recently fined Rs 3 million for his ball-tampering act in Australia, came just hours after he had received the President's Pride of Performance award, a top civilian honor, for his feats in the T20 World Cup in England last year.
The PCB said the appointment was for the T20 World Cup but indications are that if the 30-year-old Afridi manages to lead and gel the team well he could be having the captaincy in the Test and one-day forms of the game as well.
Sources within the Board said that during a meeting that the Chairman of the Board, Ejaz Butt had with national team coach, Waqar Younis and manager, Yawar Saeed and also with Afridi on Tuesday, it was decided he can resume playing Test cricket as well.
Afridi's last Test appearance was in 2006 in England and since then he has been limited to play for Pakistan in ODIs and T20 internationals.
Afridi said he was elated at getting the captaincy back despite the recent fine of Rs 3 million on him.
"It is a big honour for me to lead my country and I relish the challenge. I just want to assure my people that this team is perfectly capable of defending its title successfully in the West Indies," Afridi said.
He also ruled out any chance of problems within the team after the recent happenings in New Zealand and Australia which led to the Board imposing bans on Muhammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved and also fining Afridi, Kamran and Umar Akmal.
Afridi and Kamran have also been put on a six months probation for behaviour.
The flamboyant all-rounder said he was aware of the tough challenges facing him and his team and he was ready for it.
"Obviously I want to have the captaincy for a long time and that can only happen if the team does well," he said.
Afridi said that he was expecting complete cooperation and support from his team, which was already announced by the selectors last week.
Senior allrounder, Abdul Razzaq who was a leading candidate for the captaincy, said he was happy that Afridi had been given the responsibility.
"I have no hard feelings at all at not getting the captaincy. I feel at this time he is the best choice to lead the team as he has the ability to gel the team and also lead by performance himself," Razzaq said.
Afridi said it had been a great day for him as alongwith the captaincy he had also received the Pride of Performance award.
"What more can one I ask for but the real challenge will start now," he added.
Afridi, who has played 26 tests, 293 one-day internationals and 27 T20 internationals, was the T20 captain until the ball tampering incident in February during the fifth one-dayer against Australia at Perth which also led to the ICC Match-Referee banning him for two matches. Shoaib Malik led the Pakistan team in Afridis absence.
PCB legal advisor, Tafazzul Rizvi said that although the Board had fined Afridi Rs 3 millions and put him on probation, there was no bar on him getting a position of responsibility.
"There is no legal lacunae in appointing him as captain. He and Kamran will be under observation but he can be given the responsibility of captaincy. The inquiry committee never recommended he not be given any post of responsibility," Rizvi said.