Afridi to lead Pakistan in Sri Lanka T20

KARACHI: Pakistan on Wednesday appointed Shahid Afridi captain for its Twenty20 against Sri Lanka after Younus Khan held firm to his decision to retire from the shortest form of the game.

The 29-year-old Afridi, a dashing all-rounder, has never led Pakistan at international level and was chosen ahead of vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

National skipper Younus announced his retirement from Twenty20 cricket after leading Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title in England last month.

He refused to relent when approached to change his mind by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt.

"The PCB chairman appointed Afridi captain of the Pakistan team only for the T20 match against Sri Lanka on August 12," the PCB said in a statement.

Pakistan, who lost a three-Test series against Sri Lanka last week, meet the hosts again in the first of five one-day matches in Dambulla on Thursday. The T20 match will follow the one-day series.

Afridi has played 26 Tests, 273 one-day internationals and has appeared in all 23 Twenty20 matches Pakistan has played so far. He was the player of the tournament in the inaugural World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007.

He also won man-of-the-match awards in the semi-final and final of last month's World Twenty20 and was instrumental in Pakistan clinching the title.

Afridi last week said he would love to lead Pakistan.

"Younus is a great captain but if he doesn't want to carry on in the T20 format, I would love to lead Pakistan because captaining your country is a great honour and I want to do this before I retire," he said.