Pakistan's next match against Australia could very well be its T20 captain Shahid Afridi's last game as he revealed his retirement plans from the game. The revelation took place when Shahid Afridi spoke after the loss to New Zealand today where he scored 19 off 9 balls and picked two wickets.
After news broke a couple of days back that Shahid Afridi could be sacked as the captain of the Pakistan side, "Lala bhai" made a move of his own. Addressing the media, the 36-year old said, “I am going to play the last game of my career (next Pak match),” reported ANI.
Pakistan fans have come to expect this announcement sooner or later, as there were rumours of a dressing room discontent surrounding the captain’s inclusion in the side.
With the performances in the ongoing World Cup going downhill and qualification for the semis going from improbable to impossible, murmurs had started to rise that it was time for the all-rounder to go. However the fans love him to bits, and this was more than evident every time Afridi has come out to bat or bowl in the tournament.
Pakistan fans would chant “Dekho dekho kaun aaya, sher aaya sher aaya”(look who is here? The lion is here) when Afridi would come out to bat.
But the veteran skipper has lost the dressing room and made some very poor decisions in recent years, leading to his players and the board losing faith in him. His bizarre decision to introduce Wahab Riaz into the attack against India comes to mind, when India where struggling to play spin. In addition, going into that game by dropping spinner Wasim Imam and starting Wahab at the first place was a decision Afridi rued before the night was over.
Also his attempt to finish the innings against South Africa when Pakistan required 15 off 25 balls was comical. Having 3 wickets in hand when Afridi walked out, Pakistan lost by 14 runs because “lala bhai” wanted to finish off the innings ASAP.
Pakistan are set to face Australia on March 25, in what could be the legend's last day out.