Shoaib Malik has been retained as Pakistan's captain for an indefinite period. The decision was made by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and not the board's governing council as had been expected.
Salim Altaf, the board's chief operating officer, confirmed Malik's extension and said the chairman had made the decision and not sought the council's approval as it was not operational, six of its members having resigned.
Butt said he saw "no reason to replace" Malik as captain, who himself said the decision would spur him on further. "Ever since I took over the team, my aim has been for us to fight and play as a unit, so that remains the prime target, and I aim to take Pakistan to the top place in the world," Malik told AFP.
"I am thankful to the PCB, the PCB chairman for showing faith and confidence in me. I will always try my level best to keep the team on the winning track."
Malik's captaincy came up for review at the end of 2008, but the extension of his tenure was a formality after he got the vote of confidence from both the PCB chairman as well as Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam in recent weeks. Former players have continued to express doubts over Malik's potential as a leader in the past, and former team-mate Mohammad Yousuf blamed the "lack of respect" from Malik as one of the reasons for his signing up with the ICL.
There have also been persistent reports of rifts between Malik and other senior players. But he seems to have won over Intikhab, who had said before he took over as coach that Shahid Afridi was a better candidate than Malik.
Malik was handed the reins following Pakistan's early exit in the 2007 World Cup. Under him, Pakistan have had mixed fortunes. They reached the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007, and last year they beat India in the Kitply Cup final in Bangladesh, followed by a 3-0 sweep in the ODI series against West Indies in Abu Dhabi in November. Malik led Pakistan to a country record 12 successive ODI wins in 2008, though the bulk of them came against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh.
However, Malik also lost both the home Test and ODI series to South Africa in 2007, as well as the Test and ODI series in India that followed. The team also failed to make it the final of the Asia Cup held in Pakistan in June-July 2008. In an otherwise bleak international schedule in 2008 - Pakistan did not play a single Test - Malik, however, impressed the board with domestic success.
He first led Sialkot Stallions to the Twenty20 title, before leading Punjab to victory in the Pentangular One Day cup. That win, in particular, when he faced off against three potential contenders for the national captaincy in Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Akhtar and Misbah-ul-Haq, made a particularly strong impression on the board.