Afridi backtracks on retirement decision

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Shahid Afridi

Afridi backtracks on retirement decision

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Amlan Majumdar


After losing to Australia in their final league match of the T20 WC, Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi today said that he will take a decision on his retirement in 4-5 days after returning to Pakistan. The announcement came as a surprise after he had earlier said that today's match will be his last.

With the discussion about the all-rounder’s retirement in the air, Afridi was asked about his retirement plans during the post-match discussion program after Pakistan lost the match against Australia at Mohali.

“When I go back home, in the first 4-5 days I will take the decision (on retirement). I will announce it in my country. Whatever is better for the country, I will go with that. I will see my form.

"There is pressure, media pressure. As a player, I am fit. As a captain, I am not fit. I have enjoyed my captaincy. The team management, selection committee, and Shahryar Khan (Pakistan Cricket Board chairman) have helped me out," Afridi said.

The move came as a surprise, but not one so big, as Afridi has prevaricated on his retirement for a while with contradictory statements coming sometimes in the span of a day. Only two days ago, he had said, ““I am going to play the last game of my career (next Pak match),” when talking to media after the match against New Zealand.

Pakistan Cricket Board chief Shahryar Khan also had said on Monday that Shahid Afridi will be removed as captain after the World T20 in India.

“He is captain till the World Cup under this understanding and he has said he will retire after the event. Even if he changes his mind and wants to carry on we will have to see whether he can be picked as a player or not," Shahryar Khan told reporters in Lahore on Monday, reported Cricbuzz.

When asked about the controversy that was around the comment about him receiving more love in India, Afridi hit back by saying, "My comment was meant for educated people."

The remark appears to be a jibe at all his detractors chief among whom were former Pakistani cricketers including Javed Miandad had criticised Afridi for the comment saying Afridi should be ashamed of himself.

The swashbuckling all-rounder, who also drew criticism over his comments about Kashmir after the match against New Zealand on Tuesday, once again thanked the people from Kashmir for supporting the Pakistan team.

“I want to thank people from Calcutta. I thank people who came and supported us from Pakistan and Kashmir. Thanks to the BCCI," he said in the post-match presentation ceremony. 

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