After initially agreeing to allow Shahid Afridi to play in a farewell match against West Indies, the PCB has dropped those plans following opposition from a senior board member. Pakistan's chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, though, still believes that Afridi deserves a chance to go out on his own terms.
"In my opinion, Shahid deserves to be given a farewell match so that he can announce his retirement properly and retire in a befitting manner," Inzamam-ul-Haq said, reported PTI.
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan and Inzamam had both given approvals for Afridi to be added as the 16th member of the squad which will face West Indies in a T20 series in UAE.
“Yes it is correct that a decision was taken and approved by Shaharyar and Inzamam that Afridi would travel to UAE as the 16th player and appear in a final match against the West Indies before announcing his retirement and going out gracefully,” a source told PTI.
However, PCB has now dropped those plans after a senior member of the board, Najam Sethi, who heads the executive committee, objected to the method being followed to ensure a deserving farewell for Afridi. Sethi questioned why Afridi was not picked in the squad originally if the selection committee thought that he was good enough to play for the country. He believes this will set a wrong precedent.
“Sethi made the point that the board would be setting a wrong example by including Afridi as the 16th player just to give him a chance to play his farewell international match and it was also not befitting for such a senior player.
“Sethi’s argument is logical and he made it clear that he would speak to Afridi himself and settle the matter. Sethi will now meet Afridi in last week of September and offer him the chance to accept a proper farewell event and announce his retirement,” the source stated.
“Afridi might have played his final match for Pakistan if the plan given by Sethi is followed to the letter,” he added, reported PTI.
Afridi has played in 398 ODIs and 98 T20Is for Pakistan so far in a career spanning over 20 years. The 36-year-old has reportedly taken up the role of an expert in a state-owned television channel for the upcoming T20 series against West Indies.