2010: Summer of Pakistan July 20, 2010

Boom Boom goes bust

Shahid Afridi's decision to quit the captaincy of the Test team and retire from the format has caused a crisis quicker than anybody could have expected

Shahid Afridi's decision to retire midway through the series is disappointing © Associated Press

Shahid Afridi's decision to quit the captaincy of the Test team and retire from the format has caused a crisis quicker than anybody could have expected. The reaction has been mixed. Afridi has been blamed, and so has the PCB. Others have sympathised with Afridi's plight and praised him for his honesty.

After a weekend of reflection I remain disappointed with Afridi's decision. Yes, it is admirable to be honest and admit your limitations, and perhaps it is best for Pakistan cricket to move on quickly. And, yes, ultimately the cricket board is responsible. But with power comes responsibility and Afridi is experienced enough to know what he was letting himself in for.

My view is that Afridi should have waited until the end of the Australia series before making a decision. Ideally, he would have decided to fight through his own limitations, establish his role in the team, and grow into a worthy captain over this summer. Indeed, there were signs at Lord's that, despite the defeat and an inexperienced batting line up, some of the magic ingredients of Pakistan cricket had returned.

Instead, Afridi is gone and Pakistan cricket is in an even worse mess than before. Mr Boom Boom has gone bust, and he has disappointed his many fans with a lack of tenacity and determination to overcome the odds stacked against Pakistan cricket.

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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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