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03 March 2024

Pakistan need to name World Cup captain: Imran

World Cup winning captains India’s Kapil Dev (left), Pakistan’s Imran Khan (centre) and Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga look on during a function to announce a new marketing campaign ‘Let's Keep Cricket Clean’ in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday. (AP)


Pakistan have harmed their World Cup chances by delaying naming a captain for the February 19-April 2 tournament being held in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, former skipper Imran Khan said.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their 15-man squad for the showpiece event on January 18 but have yet to choose a skipper. Shahid Afridi is captaining the Pakistan side for the ongoing one-day series in New Zealand.
“It’s just three weeks before the World Cup starts. But we still don’t know who the captain is,” a fuming Imran told reporters on Wednesday.
Khan, flanked by former World Cup winning captains Clive Lloyd of West Indies, India’s Kapil Dev, Australia’s Allan Border and Steve Waugh, and Sri Lankan Arjuna Ranatunga, was in Mumbai for a promotional event.
“Pakistan has put themselves at a big disadvantage by not planning ahead,” the 58-year-old former all-rounder, who led Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992, said.
“You can’t have just three weeks before the World Cup and the captain has not been announced.
“All these captains here will tell you that it takes time to know your team... Its strengths... Its weaknesses... To develop your strategy...”
Imran said Pakistan’s chances of a successful World Cup tournament were reduced by the absence of pace duo Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, both suspended by the International Cricket Council.
“I think they were the best opening bowlers in the world. They would have given Pakistan an edge in the World Cup,” Imran said. “I think their suspension will hurt Pakistan.”