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World Cup, or captains’ Waterloo'

Johannesburg: The sacking of Waqar Younis as Pakistan captain once again reiterated the belief that the World Cup is a graveyard for the leaders of the game.

New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming came to this World Cup as the only survivor of the 12-member captains club that ruled the tournament four years ago.

Now, even before the current edition has ended, two captains have already been shown the door, one resigned in disgust, another is pondering his future while yet another is hovering on the brink.

South Africa sacked Shaun Pollock after the hosts failed to make the Super Sixes even though the team is currently the official world Test champions.

Waqar’s sacking on Wednesday was on expected lines after co-favourites Pakistan lost to arch rivals India on their way to making their exit after the first round. He was replaced by Rashid Latif, Pakistan’s sixth captain in five years.

Nasser Hussain resigned as one-day captain, disgusted at the way officials handled the Zimbabwe boycott issue, even though he wants to remain the leader for Tests. Carl Hooper is uncertain to lead the West Indies in the upcoming home series against Australia, while Bangladesh’s Khaled Mashud said he was still undecided whether to step down.

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak, on the other hand, insisted he will not follow Andy Flower and Henry Olonga into retirement and that he would battle on at the head of his team, which was dogged by political controversy throughout the World Cup.

“I will keep going as long as my body allows. I love my country, I love my job, I’ll keep going,” said Streak after Flower and Olonga slipped into international retirement and exile, both fearing for their safety if they returned home following their black armband, anti-Robert Mugabe protests.

Pollock blamed the legacy of disgraced former skipper Hansie Cronje for his sacking, although he vowed to play on under new captain Graeme Smith.

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