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by Andrew Wood Tuesday 14 October 2014
Shahid Afridi has issued a statement clarifying that he fully supports Pakistan One-Day International captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
Afridi, who was recenty reappointed as Twenty20 captain, stood in for Misbah as captain during the third ODI against Australia in Abu Dhabi.
Misbah stood down from the match voluntarily but has the support of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to continue leading the side through to next year's World Cup.
However, comments made by Afridi in the post-match press conference following Pakistan's one-run defeat to Australia, were described by PCB chairman Sheharyar Khan as 'regretful and unfortunate'.
Afridi had suggested that Misbah had been forced to sit out the match, although the PCB maintain this was not the case and that Misbah himself volunteered to miss the match following a run of poor form.
The PCB has now issued a press release allowing Afridi to reiterate his support for Misbah.
"Let me state at the very outset, Misbah is the best choice as Pakistan captain for the ICC World Cup 2015," Afridi states.
"I have always backed him to the optimum whenever I have played under him, just as he had when I had the honour to captain the Pakistan team."I have already had the pride and honour to captain Pakistan several times. Trust me, it is no bed of roses, and all of us who have captained Pakistan, including Misbah, are fully aware of it.
"We get nothing more out of it than pride and honour; seldom do we get bouquets but more often brickbats."I have said this before, and I reiterate, that I shall continue to serve Pakistan Cricket and fully support Misbah to the best of my ability."This is my final statement on the issue."
Pakistan lost the opening two matches in the series by 93 runs and five wickets before Afridi took over for the final game, where they went down to defeat despite needing just two runs to win from the final over.
Glenn Maxwell took two wickets and Afridi - who led Pakistan in the Twenty20 International which they lost by six wickets - ended the limited overs series with an identical captaincy record to Misbah of two losses from two matches.
Misbah first captained Pakistan in an ODI in July 2008, taking over as full-time skipper in 2011, leading the side to the semi-finals of the World Cup, where they lost out to arch-rivals India.
He has an overall record of 40 wins and 33 defeats from 76 matches, which compares to Afridi's own record of 18 wins and 16 defeats in 35 matches.
Pakistan will play ODI series against New Zealand - home and away - before they begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies on 20th February 2015.
© Cricket World 2014