Islamabad: Pakistan cricket chief Ijaz Butt appointed Misbah-ul-Haq on Thursday to replace Shahid Afridi as one-day captain for a two-match series against Ireland this month. (Also Read: Fans criticize Afridi's removal as captain)
Butt said Afridi will play as an ordinary member of the team despite leading Pakistan to a 3-2 one-day series win over the West Indies earlier this month.
The switch is likely to be seen as punishment for Afridi's public criticism of coach Waqar Younus' alleged interference in team selection.
"Misbah will lead Pakistan in the two matches against Ireland and Afridi will play as a member (of the team) only," the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman told a news conference.
Ireland hosts Pakistan for two matches on May 28 and 30.
The 31-year-old Afridi took over as Pakistan captain last year and guided the team to this year's World Cup semi-final where they lost to India -- who went on to win the tournament.
After the series against the West Indies, Afridi accused Waqar of meddling in team selection upon his return home on May 9.
"Everyone should do his job and should be answerable for his duties," Afridi said. When asked about his differences with Waqar, Afridi replied: "They are not at a stage where we cannot resolve them."
The PCB asked Afridi to explain why he had violated the code of conduct that prohibits players from speaking to the media on team affairs.
Afridi replied by saying he did not name Waqar. On Monday, he left for the United States for a private family visit and will rejoin the team in Ireland.
The rest of the team were in the West Indies, where they play the second and final Test at St. Kitts starting Friday.
A PCB spokesman said it was routine to appoint a new captain each series.
"We appoint a captain on a series to series basis," Nadeem Sarwar told AFP.
But former international spinner Iqbal Qasim lashed out at the decision.
"Afridi has been punished for taking over the captaincy at a time when the situation was very bad, said Qasim, also a former chief selector, talking about the fallout from a series of alleged spot-fixing scandals.
"He has been punished for taking Pakistan to World Cup semis. This decision smacks of a one-man show in the PCB," said Qasim, referring to Butt's reign as chairman.
Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Younus Khan, Taufiq Umar, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Salman, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Tanvir Ahmed, Junaid Khan and Hammad Azam