Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has refused to become the country’s new Twenty20 captain since he wants to be “relaxed” when playing cricket.
The position became vacant when Mohammad Hafeez resigned following Pakistan’s disastrous World Twenty20 campaign.
“I don’t want to put myself forward for captaincy,” Ajmal said. “I think I am better as a team player. I do think about being captain of Pakistan, but I am reluctant too.
“Captaincy in Pakistan is not easy. The captain ends up being blamed for anything that goes wrong. Just look at Mohammad Hafeez. He resigned after our exit from this year’s World T20. Why? It’s because all the blame was being dumped on him. I have been approached for captaincy but I declined. I want to be relaxed about my cricket. God has blessed me with a sunny disposition and I want to keep it that way.”
Ajmal also noted that Misbah-ul-Haq was an even better Test and ODI captain than the legendary Imran Khan.
“Misbah-ul-Haq has been outstanding in this role,” he said. “In fact, when you consider the circumstances in which he has performed his job, I would say his services as captain are greater than even Imran Khan’s.
“Yet he doesn’t always receive his due. He’s been a tremendous leader during an extremely difficult time for Pakistan and he’s been our leading run getter.
“Yet each time we lose a match, people forget about his magnificent contributions. They start demanding that he be dropped. I really fail to understand this. Even as a batsman, people complain he’s too slow, that he blocks a lot, does a lot of tuk-tuk. This is not fair to Misbah. He is a watchful batsman and becomes extra-watchful if the team is losing wickets from the other end, which often happens with us. His approach is appropriate and serves the interests of the team. I can tell you as a bowler that it pleases me greatly to see Misbah standing at the crease. If he is batting, it gives me heart that I will have runs to bowl at.”