Shahid Afridi July 12, 2010

'There was no other choice but me'

Pakistan's explosive and controversial allrounder talks about the challenges of leading the side
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His team is young, raw but full of talent and the next two months could give a strong clue of the side's future. On the eve of the opening Test against Australia at Lord's, Pakistan's "home" Test away from home, Shahid Afridi talks to Cricinfo about leadership, communication and helping young players.

How are you enjoying the captaincy?
I am enjoying the captaincy because I have been entrusted with the responsibility. It is not just about leading 17 players, it is about leading the entire country. Hence there is pressure, which comes out of the expectations of the people, and my own. It is a difficult job. It is natural for captains from the subcontinent teams to face overwhelming pressure constantly. But my country has given me a name and therefore I take any difficulty as a challenge. If my country needs me, and if I can do well and can put the team in a good position, it will be a big achievement. Something the people will always remember. If down the line I become aware that I am not a good captain or not a successful one, and the team is unable to make any use of me as a captain, I will not chase it. If I don't have the ability then I will leave it on my own. I've been playing for 13-14 years now and to finally get the captain's post is definitely a big honour.

Were you ready for it?
Firstly they did not have any other choice. Also, there were issues quite a few captains [in the near past] had faced with players not entirely happy with them and some even not wanting to play under them. Nobody is a born captain. He learns with time. He works closely with the boys. He works with senior players, asks them for suggestions and devises strategy. He needs to work closely with the coach, and that relationship needs to be strong. It can't be just you on your own. You need to do all these things if you want to be a good captain. You can't get personal with players on the ground - every player is equal.

Do you think it came late?
I was ready four to five years ago but somebody else was appointed instead. The board told me that I would be the captain but the next day they announced I would not be the captain. I was really hurt. They didn't need to tell me that at all. I told the board people so at that point. But now a lot of water has gone under the bridge and it is a new chapter.

This honesty of yours, this blunt attitude - do you think it is good for a captain?
I've always believed it is important to be clean from inside. I cannot favour any player, let him be a junior or senior. That is because it is a position the almighty has given me and he is watching me round the clock, what I do, so I cannot think of doing anything wrong.

What is the most difficult thing about the role?
It is important to keep everyone happy, to keep the players together. Yes, it is slightly difficult to take everybody along with you always. But it is not impossible. For that you need good and sincere people around you. You need the management personnel who can help you out with various things. The captain can't be asked to get into every decision.

How important is communication?
It is because of lack of communication, in addition to the little things that people kept quiet about, that led to a difficult situation and the problems in the past. So now I ask my players to express themselves with freedom. Even if I am at wrong I have asked them to just walk up to me and share their point of view. As a player I think differently and as a captain I think differently and both parties can only understand each other by communicating openly.

"In our region we never know what will happen when. You know that even if you lose the World Cup final you will not know where you stand. I did not ask anyone forcibly to give me the captaincy, nor will I forcibly captain the team"

Is it important for you to mentor younger players because you were a young player once who fell by the wayside yourself?
I think that is already happening. There are so many young players in this squad with whom I have personally sat and had one-on-one chats, and given them the freedom to think on their own. It is not only me, even my coaches are doing the same. There is no pressure on the youngsters in this team. You can sense their confidence now. I don't want to add any pressure on a newcomer because I know what a youngster thinks when he comes into the team. I also strongly feel that he can't just be there for two or three matches, he needs to be given a fair run. He needs to get the returns for his hard work. The rest is up to the player - how much he is dedicated and determined. I have already chatted to the selection committee and we are on the same page on this front.

Do you seek suggestions from any of the senior players?
I take very few suggestions from others. If I feel I need to pick someone's brains, I will do it. Too many ideas make the job difficult.

Do you follow your instincts more, then?
Once I take a decision, I stick to it. I never say it is wrong, and my players support me.

Who was the captain you admired as a youngster?
Imran Khan. In that era he had a big and powerful team to back him. He had the likes of Javed Miandad, Wasim bhai [Akram] to support him, so he did not have many problems. Respect is the most essential thing about captaincy. Respect between the captain and players is important. It is give and take. Imran bhai never demanded respect, everybody gave him respect.

How do you balance with the expectations of family, team and friends in this new position?
The family understands how much time I can afford to give them. It is not really that difficult to give time to everyone. Once I am out of the ground I forget cricket or keep it away as far as possible, to lighten up.

Do you take pressure at all?
Of course there is pressure. We do face the heat but a player's worth is understood by the way he deals with pressure. I don't show it on the face, but inside me what happens only I know.

Recently Mohammad Yousuf said that new players coming out of Pakistan are not Test players, they are Twenty20 players. What is your opinion?
I don't agree. We have youngsters who have the temperament to survive in Test cricket. I spoke to a lot of domestic coaches, and some of these youngsters I had observed them personally and they were picked based on my own belief in consultation with my coaching think tank.

This is a very complex tour. How do you approach the challenge?
My team is a young one. So I will not speak about winning straightaway to them. We are rebuilding the Test team, and part of the process is to give chances to the youngsters. We don't have really big expectations from them, but these are talented players who will do well. I want to see them play good cricket and myself playing well with them. At least I want people to say that it was a good team, who played good, who fought well, and it was fun to watch them. Those words would be enough for me.

But Pakistan has a history where as soon the team starts doing badly, the whole set-up is changed. Do you think once again there will be chopping and changing?
Nothing like that. Everyone knows that the team is still work in progress, with new boys coming in. So far the results in ODI and Twenty20 games recently show that we are rebuilding. But we are playing as a unit. You can see the results and the efforts the players have been putting in. Unlike in the past, where there were so many problems related to discipline or differences between the coach and captain or with the selection committee - there is nothing like that so far that has happened. We are progressing now.

Considering you have played under Waqar Younis, do you have a good rapport with him?
Vicky bhai is a sincere man and he is good. Then we have Aaqib Javed and Ijaz Ahmed, and the latter was the coach of our Under-19 team. All of them want the team to have a good standing. These are people who want the team to go ahead. Each one works hard with every player, is transparent, and does not have any selfish angle, and that is the reason I like them.

When Australia heard you were leading Pakistan for the series Ricky Ponting said "We'll sort him out pretty quick." Does that mentally spur you on?
Allah has given me two ears: I hear with one and throw it out with the other. Whatever happens on the ground, we will know soon.

Captaincy has come late in your career - how long do you think you can sustain it?
In our region we never know what will happen when. You know that even if you lose the World Cup final you will not know where you stand. I did not ask anyone forcibly to give me the captaincy, nor will I forcibly captain the team. If I am good I will prove it through my performance. If I am not good I will say khuda hafeez [God be with you].

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Miz.. on July 15, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    I still believe, that Salman Butt is a much better options (at least for the Test Cricket). Afridi does lack sense of responsibility. Perhaps, he doesn't have the temperament to lead a Test team.

  • on July 15, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    what about his own batting performance?i think Salman Butt or Kamran Akmal would be better choice than him atleast in test cricket,at this moment Bangladesh batting looking better than Pakistan batting side,they r definately missing yousuf & yunis & even misbah.

  • AK47_pk on July 14, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    i strogly object Afridi bieng called controversial at the very start..

  • cskfangg on July 14, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    oh my god...what pathetic performance in Ist innings from pakis... "Top order mistakes aside, but this innings from afirdi has been the most irresponsible captain's innings ever"

  • cskfangg on July 14, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    what an innings from ur captian..give him a loud applause.... Now what u say abt afridi & his talent?..he is a player,who never understands the situation of the game and throw his wicket just like that!! and he proudly says 'There was no other choice but me..'

  • lok4cric on July 14, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    afridi has d tatlent and the team has fresh blood!!!

  • on July 14, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    @Afridi's critics - Every1 does ball tamperingf in cricket... Most cricketers(ie:Trescothick) talked about how they had 2 secretly do ball tampering, EVEN the gr8 Sachin was caught ball-tampering BUT since Afridi knew that Allah wud either way noe that he is ball-tampering so he did it inront of every1 4 HIS COUNTRY!!!

  • dmqi on July 14, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    I hope you all post realistic comments when compare. Afridi was the only player in the team to lead the Pak side ( by his own statement), compared to half dozen players in australia team to lead at par with Afridi, if not better.

    Afridi's statement shows his quality of intellect, apart from all the ball biting, pitch invading qualities.

    No doubt he is a match winner, but what percent, 10-20% at the most.

    He bowled few overs and gave 8 runs per over. He has not batted yet.

    So, the supporters of Afridi and Pak team should not climb to sky before day 4. Be realistic, Pakistan is playing with the best test team in the world, yes better than India for sure.

    Pakistan team has talent, but very unpredictable you all have seen that many times. So, hold your breath till the end of 2nd test and then make some educated comments. I hope to see a competitive match.

  • jani_nasir on July 14, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    That was an excellent interview. To be honest even with the ball biting accident I was still on Afridi's band wagon and had been wanting to see him as a captain for the past 4 years. For those of you who doubt his legitimacy as a test player, his average is above 35 in tests plus he is a useful bowler. Not only is the team playing as a unit under him but the bowling attack has flourished tremendously and gone into that blood lusting attack mode that I used to see during Akram or Imran's captaincy. He is very active in the field and brings more to the table than his stats. For him to say "there was no choice but me" left for the captain is not shameful for him as a player but for PCB. I have no doubt the team will do well, I don't know if they would win matches like they used to but at least they will go down fighting.

  • Q72941 on July 14, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    It is a huge task to emulate the same as T20 in a Test series but this might be taken as a good learning curve. The problem as many has mentioned is the Fragile batting. I was expecting at least Malik to be in the Middle. Yasir Hamid was another one that could have been given a chance as Imran Farhat doesn't seems solid for being an opener even with all his exposer. Well I hope Afridi & the other selectors have known the strength of their players & has selected the best pick.

  • Miz.. on July 15, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    I still believe, that Salman Butt is a much better options (at least for the Test Cricket). Afridi does lack sense of responsibility. Perhaps, he doesn't have the temperament to lead a Test team.

  • on July 15, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    what about his own batting performance?i think Salman Butt or Kamran Akmal would be better choice than him atleast in test cricket,at this moment Bangladesh batting looking better than Pakistan batting side,they r definately missing yousuf & yunis & even misbah.

  • AK47_pk on July 14, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    i strogly object Afridi bieng called controversial at the very start..

  • cskfangg on July 14, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    oh my god...what pathetic performance in Ist innings from pakis... "Top order mistakes aside, but this innings from afirdi has been the most irresponsible captain's innings ever"

  • cskfangg on July 14, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    what an innings from ur captian..give him a loud applause.... Now what u say abt afridi & his talent?..he is a player,who never understands the situation of the game and throw his wicket just like that!! and he proudly says 'There was no other choice but me..'

  • lok4cric on July 14, 2010, 9:53 GMT

    afridi has d tatlent and the team has fresh blood!!!

  • on July 14, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    @Afridi's critics - Every1 does ball tamperingf in cricket... Most cricketers(ie:Trescothick) talked about how they had 2 secretly do ball tampering, EVEN the gr8 Sachin was caught ball-tampering BUT since Afridi knew that Allah wud either way noe that he is ball-tampering so he did it inront of every1 4 HIS COUNTRY!!!

  • dmqi on July 14, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    I hope you all post realistic comments when compare. Afridi was the only player in the team to lead the Pak side ( by his own statement), compared to half dozen players in australia team to lead at par with Afridi, if not better.

    Afridi's statement shows his quality of intellect, apart from all the ball biting, pitch invading qualities.

    No doubt he is a match winner, but what percent, 10-20% at the most.

    He bowled few overs and gave 8 runs per over. He has not batted yet.

    So, the supporters of Afridi and Pak team should not climb to sky before day 4. Be realistic, Pakistan is playing with the best test team in the world, yes better than India for sure.

    Pakistan team has talent, but very unpredictable you all have seen that many times. So, hold your breath till the end of 2nd test and then make some educated comments. I hope to see a competitive match.

  • jani_nasir on July 14, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    That was an excellent interview. To be honest even with the ball biting accident I was still on Afridi's band wagon and had been wanting to see him as a captain for the past 4 years. For those of you who doubt his legitimacy as a test player, his average is above 35 in tests plus he is a useful bowler. Not only is the team playing as a unit under him but the bowling attack has flourished tremendously and gone into that blood lusting attack mode that I used to see during Akram or Imran's captaincy. He is very active in the field and brings more to the table than his stats. For him to say "there was no choice but me" left for the captain is not shameful for him as a player but for PCB. I have no doubt the team will do well, I don't know if they would win matches like they used to but at least they will go down fighting.

  • Q72941 on July 14, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    It is a huge task to emulate the same as T20 in a Test series but this might be taken as a good learning curve. The problem as many has mentioned is the Fragile batting. I was expecting at least Malik to be in the Middle. Yasir Hamid was another one that could have been given a chance as Imran Farhat doesn't seems solid for being an opener even with all his exposer. Well I hope Afridi & the other selectors have known the strength of their players & has selected the best pick.

  • m0se on July 14, 2010, 2:04 GMT

    I hope Afridi doesn't fizzle out like every other Pakistani captain. After Younis won the T20 world cup, he fizzled out. There seems just too much intensity and a lack of professionalism. Pakistan do well with their back against the walls and their backs are against the walls after the recent scandals. But, after a few wins and good moments, I hope they don't implode again. Then, it's their back against the walls and a new captain and a new cycle.

  • raj040686 on July 14, 2010, 0:50 GMT

    "That is because it is a position the almighty has given me and he is watching me round the clock, what I do, so I cannot think of doing anything wrong." Ya right Mr. Afridi... How come you forgot this while biting the ball ? Talent comes next to Sportmanship. I salute you as a batsman but not as a fair sportsman.

  • SaqlainHK on July 14, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    Good performance by Pakistan impresive pacers done the job indian support is wellcome surly they want us to win and make Austrila to move down of the point table so they can retain number one. appriciated ur support. lol

  • S.N.Singh on July 13, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    Question: THIS HONESTY OOF YOURS ? AFRIDI HAS "A DISHONEST " ATTITUDE AGAINST HIM WHICH WILL NEVER BE ERASED IN ANY TIME. HE AFTER SAID THAT IT IS HAPPENING AND EVERYONE IS DOIND IT. WHICH GIVES ME THE UNDERSTANDING THAT WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE PAKISTAN AND ENGLAND "FORFEITED TEST" AND THE UMPIRE HAIR . ACCORDING TO HIS STATEMENTS THEY DID TAMPERRED WITH THE BALL ? THEY HAVE TO PROVE THEIR HONESTY . S.N.SINGH USA

  • cooldude94 on July 13, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    This truly reveals his character. I mean, the way he answered to every question was truly the master of positivity (My favorite is how he responded to Ponting's "OVER-REACTION"). Good signs for Pakistan. I'm so sure that this guy will take the team and the nation they play for to the higher levels. And what happened today at lord's, is a fine example, and the bigger example is what we all know, 2-0 Twenty20 international victory against the team that once was and probably still is tagged as "UNSTOPPABLE"

  • on July 13, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    Assalamu Alikkum.......Right Now,According to me,Pakistan is the world No.1 team. A talented one. Which includes, A young confident/Talented Captain,who is being admired by evey team mates.A young fast bowler,who replaces wasim akram, and a consistent young batsman,who i havent seen in world cricket-Umar Akmal, a world class catcher-Shohaib Malik,Power hitter-Abdual Razzaq,Old King-Saead Ajmal,and the list goes on......But Internal Conflict was only the problem. Hope it will be cleaned by Afridi's Captancy....Assalam Alikkum

  • on July 13, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    great response to punter's mind games, "Allah has given me two ears: I hear with one and throw it out with the other." hahaha..

    he'll let his performance do the talking. cheetah laga afridi!

  • on July 13, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    @cskfangg Please could you type your comments in English next time?

    Day 1 has come to an end, a day where no fingers will be pointed at the Pakistani players. Great performance, restricting Australia to a score below 250 is a massive achievement by itself. Just hoping that our batsmen click tomorrow.

  • scarletmaverick on July 13, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    I am really amazed by the talent Pakistan have. I am an Indian, more importantly a fan of the game and appreciate the way Pakistan play the game. Afridi has it in him to make an impact with this new team in Tests.. Wishing him all the best- He must let his bat doing the talking. Hoping they get better of Aussies in England this Summer !!

  • desilyrics on July 13, 2010, 16:36 GMT

    all i know is that pak under afridis leadership kicked the ussies ass in the two 20/twentys at edgbaston last week. keep rockin pakistan.............

  • wanderer1 on July 13, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    To all those questioning Afridi's religiosity and misdemeanours on the cricket field, is it any different than seeing Footballers on a daily basis acting innoncent, crossing themselves or praying to God before a Football match and then proceeding to foul, cheat, dive and handball their way to victory?? You'll see this behaviour in most sports around the world.

  • cskfangg on July 13, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    If u want to become Pakistan cricket team captain... Rule 1: Bite the ball...but don't forgot to say that u did it,bcoz to atleast to win a match.. Rule 2:dance in pitch.. Rule 3: If u r wicketless then try to damage the pitch..if u got wicket, say Insah-allah,we won.. Then whole pakistan & PCB thinks u r a inspirational captain to lead..and makes u captain.. Then u can say 'There was no other choice but me'..... suddenly if u loss a series..there will be other captians..(just like changing the watchmans in houses,for sleeping on duty)..

  • Abracadubra on July 13, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    It is shame on Pakistan and Afridi - both- to say 'there was no choice but me' on captain-ship! It speaks of the helplessness of the administration, and they are forced to accept Afridi of all the players available. It is also an insult to other players who are far better than Afridi - in terms of attitude and commitment.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 13, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    wow talking @ a defeat before the kickstart..

  • on July 13, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    hahahaha Allah has given me two ears: I hear with one and throw it out with the other. lol

  • uglyhunK on July 13, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    @Jay4Joy - that's the prob not just with paki cricketers....everyone knows wat I mean.

  • uglyhunK on July 13, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    @fine_nicks - ROFL.......:-)

  • ww113 on July 13, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    Not sure if Afridi deserves a place in the Test side for his batting or bowling.But now that he is captain,I wish him well.This is going to be a very tough tour with one of the weakest Pakistan sides in recent memory.

  • Zab786 on July 13, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    A new hope has begin with Afridi's captaincy,yes i totally agreed with him he should have been captain of Pakistan but late came right came we hope Afridi bhai will lead Pakistan cricket as no 1 soon InshaALLAH...Pakistan Zindabad.

  • Gopalakrishna on July 13, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    Cricinfo is at it again ! Nagaraj Gollupudi has produced a wonderful interview of Shahid Afridi - the new Pakistan captain. Congrats Nagaraj andc Sambit Bal HR Gopala Krishna - Cricket Statistician, Bangalore, India

  • mkskhan on July 13, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Well,,,,Pakistan has the best talent in cricket in the world. This is b'coz of our belief in ourself and in the GOD. If Pakkistan plays with all its confidence nobody in the wold can dare to come even close. Who cares abt Pontings what he says?Who cares if they win the matches, you look at the games for the past 15 years by the time of Imran Khan, you would know how they have won the games. Its ugly, its rediculous how Aussies have won via manupulations on the world stage and cheating in the field. What we are is what we are, let us be ourselves and then try to win a game. I think if we are trusting ourselves, thats the first step to our victory. Insha'Allah we will win.

  • cskfangg on July 13, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    what is the meaning Inshaa-Allah in cricket ?.. i remember in one post presentation,Inzamam forgots to say at start of his interview.,stops..and say the word..and continue..(is there any rule?) if u r religionic,thats is ur personnel..dont bring it to cricket.. pakis do religonic,politics in cricket..but forgot the game..if there almigthy doesnt help,suddenly bite the ball..if world laughs at them..then they dig the pitch and hide inside...

  • fakejordan on July 13, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    hey jay4joy i know, but it is the same as mentioning god its just in their language its allah which means god , its like saying may god guide us

  • Jarr30 on July 13, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Mr Izaz Butt@ I have been chewing on the cricket ball all week and I can dance on the pitch too.Howcome I am not made the captain of pakistan.

  • on July 13, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    wish to Carry out Pashton Name in world. we have request from all pashton please give to pray for him. to promote the pashton name in world. i hope so he will do that. from and from my friend site we will pray for shahid khan Afridi to promote the name of pashton

    Best regard

    Sapi

  • Foghorn_Lebhorn on July 13, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    I'm still bewildered how someone who who didn't respect test cricket enough to even want to play, now thinks he can be the saviour of Pakistani test cricket.

  • hiccup on July 13, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Go Afridi....Do well boys..Hope cricket gets back to Pakistan very soon...I am a huge fan of the Pakistani brank of cricket, more so Afridi...

  • sachin_sachin on July 13, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    afridi has been found guilty of cheating twice. Once can be classed as a brain fade but not 2 times. This guy will go to any lenghts to win. How does it reflect on a country that they have to appoint a cheat as a captain, who then talks about leading the hopes of a nation!! He demonstrates great degree of maturity and god fearing nature in the interview... wonder where all this was when he was gleefully biting into the ball!

  • on July 13, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    I hope aussie's loose, even though the chance of that happening is slim to none, but I dont want aussie's to get no. 1 test ranking ever again over india :D

  • Smithie on July 13, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    Further on the Spirit of Cricket Test match it adds more spice with one of the players being on a police charge for match fixing - fine example for young cricketers???

  • fine_nicks on July 13, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    hmm...now we all know why Afridi doesn't have anything between his ears, he takes in from one and throws out from the other...

  • Smithie on July 13, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    How ironic that in the Spirit of Cricket Test match at Lords one of the Captains has recently been charged, convicted and sanctioned for ball tampering. Given Inzy's form is it a criteria for captaincy?

  • on July 13, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    Well done Afridi, As you said we don't expect a win either and neither you can. You will defined scream and will try to hide from media and will never be able to make an interview. I am sure this test career will end up soon,

  • on July 13, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    hahahaha afridi owned ponting by sayin i hear it with 1 ear n throw it out the other ...........bring it on ponting

  • Jay4Joy on July 13, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    What's wrong with Pakistani cricketers? Can they not talk for more than a minute without mentioning him? May Allah be your saviour ;-)

  • hammad_uet on July 13, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan... we r wid u... its the best opportunity to take revenge from aussies...play for the pride... we all love u

  • on July 13, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Lovely interview with a good, honest, spirited man. Pakistan will always play their unique brand of cricket, and good luck to AFRIDI and his young team... forget about the past " Bad things will happen to everyone, no one is perfect...We can see an big change now...this will bring Pakistan Cricket to its height landmark ever. INSHA'ALLAH...

  • on July 13, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    Now thats y i LOVE him... He is jst soo straight forward and has BELIEF AND TRUST in his players... he didnt drop Shahzad or Akhtar eventhough they didnt play well in 1st game and the risk paid off in Akhtar's case... PS: I luv u BOOM BOOM coz u believe the almighty and Luv him!!!

  • on July 13, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    @ TigerAwe LOL we all remember Shane Warne , Mark waugh fair plays.

  • on July 13, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    All d best Shahid bhai,God bless u n ur team our entire pakistan nation is with u n r backing u n ur team pls do well, U have a wonderfull aggressive attitude mashallah n ur spirit as a captain is. tooo good Alhamdulillah n d evidence for that is d recently T20 series win for pak against a strong australian team but test is different i just hope u all r going to give ur 200% effort here in Tests as u do in T20'S & ODIS. we havnt won a test series from almost 3 in a half to 4 years plss win it dis time n beat d ozies n break our losing streak against them in tests which hasnt happened 4rm 15 years so all d best shahid bhai all d Best TEAM PAKISTAN Remember one thing ''HAI JAZBA JUNOON TO HIMMAT NA HAR'' fight till d last ball n go for a win. God bless u n our team. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • on July 13, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Allah has given two ears 2 shahid Afrid....hahahahaahhahahahah...the last time i look i too had two ears

  • TigerAwe on July 13, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    What a bizarre interview. Afridi has no idea about the traditions of the game and has been found out as a cheat on numerous occasions. His most recent effort where he tried to EAT the cricket ball was beyond belief. Afridi should be banned for life from playing and instead he captains his country - go figure! That would never happen in Australia. The Aussies will destroy Pakistan in this series and will teach them that you can win without cheating or eating the ball!!!

  • ad33l.asghar on July 13, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    "I hear with one and throw it out with the other." lolz, great reply to Ponting :D

  • ArjunPandit on July 13, 2010, 8:26 GMT

    Afridi, You and your team play good cricket and beat Aussies, we in india are all behind you , You play honest cricket and win will come automatically, even if you loose don't worry but fight like a true champion. Winning and loosing is part of the game but how you win and how you loose that is important. All the best and may all the GODS will help you to acheive what you wish for.

  • raveen_ds on July 13, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    now that he is captain, he will have enough say to make sure he gets snacks run out to him at the drinks break, so he won't get hungry and start eating the ball again hehe

  • eroica on July 13, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Ricky Ponting graceless as always, but Shahid I believe is his match as captain. Lovely interview with a good,honest, spirited man. Pakistan will always play their unique brand of cricket, and good luck to them! Go the Aussies, but the little bit of my heart that lodges in my throat will always be with Pakistan.

  • desti-007 on July 13, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Actions speak louder than words, so lets see!

  • sachinsjaihindustan on July 13, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Well spoken Shaz. By the way I'm an Indian supporter, but I've have always admired you. You've shown the qualities of a true captain in this interview, and hopefully you'll take that out with you on the field. I'm impressed by the fact that you've shown maturity and responsibility in addition to your flare both with bat and ball. Good luck in the test series!!

  • ArjunVS on July 13, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Afridi will have to set aside his ego before he can lead a team. From his posturing when (if) he gets a wicket, to his hogging the limelight at any event on and off the field. A team does not have an ' I " in it, and especially one that does not have the credentials to back him up. The last person without batting credentials was Brearly and Afridi is a far sight removed. That there was no one else is hardly a stanp of authority and guarrantee to do well. I would not place my money on this horse.

  • on July 13, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Dear Writer, There are so many good things in the interview...like Allah has given me two ears...why you have to still put the heading that is a weak point like there was no other option but afridi? this is just like when you said that stats reveal the opposite...do they really?

  • obstreperous on July 13, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    When Afridi says the almighty is watching him so he cannot consider doing anything wrong, is he commenting on his religious beliefs or his fear of TV cameras?

  • on July 13, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Hmmm lolz @ Ponting,,,, Man if u were in NWFP then u could have said, we can't sort these pathan guys,,,, who always will do something out of the blue to make u surprised,,,,,,,,, and it will happen more often than not ,,, may b 6 outa 10 times,,,,,,, so how wud u sort him out n his men??? I am sure, ponts u have given afridi a challenge which he hates ........... Lets have a meeting in the middle .....

  • on July 13, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    mashallah, excellent interview. i am proud to have afridi as our captain. bold, fearless, and understanding all with pure faith in Allah. if he can keep the pieces around him together maybe Pakistan cricket can enter another golden age. it all begins with the test team though...

  • Cric.Analysis on July 13, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    @adil8: Absolutely right mate. Afridi did not deserve to be the captain since he is the one who conspired against Younis and Yousuf.

  • on July 13, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    @aliGreinvented....Religion is one's personal matter, yes I agree. But religion and good belief is the only thing which gives 100% strength and support. If you feel Afridi is speaking religiously then this is his belief which he is expressing. A true Muslim will never forget to say InshAllah if he will decide to do something good and this is the belief that wherever we are, whatever we are doing, Allah is looking at us and we will have to be answerable to Him. If you cannot support your country and the men like him then this will never degrade the respect of our beloved country and the people like Afridi in our eyes.

  • Mukuntaraj on July 13, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    I am an indian and an indian supporter, but I am really admired by the way Afridi is captaining. Cool, not shouting at players, not talking so "frankly" to media about bad performances of few players, not finger pointing, not forming sub groups inside the team etc etc. World is changing and commanding a side will not work any more. What a captain needs is professionalism and being friendly and leading by example. Afridi is showing all these characters. on behalf of all the indians, i wish him and pakistan team a great success!

  • braindead_rocker on July 13, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    Am an Indian fan but I am giving honest comments...Afridi as test captain is a disaster! He is not fit to play test cricket...This is horrible on the part of PCB.

    Leaving out two world class batsmen like Younis Khan and Yousuf!!! What was PCB thinking? When they can make a ball tempering player like Afridi the captain, they can forgive these guys.

    Pak fans will agree that these two batsmen cannot be replaced....These are test matches..not twenty 20...I doubt Afridi will get any big scores...If he does it will be a miracle.

  • MadeInIndia on July 13, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    He talks like a good leader.

    At the same time, he played too many politics and has done too many worst things and needs real honesty if he wants to survive as a leader. Character is too important a thing to be ignored for good leaders

  • the_blue_android on July 13, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Hey Pakistan and Afridi - Play your heart out boys, I will be up all night to watch my fav players Aamer and Umar and Asif. Will be supporting you guys through out. That guy Ponting needs some egg on his face for shooting his mouth off. Aamer, go for Ponting's throat and head!!! Cheers from India!

  • kapilesh23 on July 13, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    i respect all comments given here about afridi .but i think that the t20 captaincy and test match captaincy is two entirely different aspects .i respect and like afridis aggression and energy but test match is five days long ,it is very difficult to keep that energy level for five days .this test series is afridis biggest test as a captain , very egger to see how he manages this young and inexperienced pakistani team.

  • on July 13, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    don't you worry shahid , test matches will not be for 5 days.... think before say some thing... sorry to tell it will be 2-0 for aus

  • on July 13, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Good luck Afridi and the whole team, god bless u.

  • hasan.cheema on July 13, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Very Good. Allah has given Afridi two ears, from one he hear Ponting's comment of getting him cheaply and from other ear he flush this idea out....

  • GlobalCricketLover on July 13, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Shahid afridi talking about honesty and being 'clean', what a joke! Is he saying god wasn't watching when he was biting the ball so openly? and when he was caught on camera digging the pitch against Eng?

  • gghdty on July 13, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    There is no indivuduality in games . Theres only the team and the national teams honor. Afridi along with all the players will have to fight for their teams honor and they are very capable of doing that. Win or lose no big deal. Whoever plays has to deal with his own conciousness of representing Pakistan. National honor demands 101%. Good luck team.

  • cherukuri1973 on July 13, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Well said Afridi, This is what a captain need to have in him. I am sure you will be respected by the other players. I am also sure you will answer ponting and co. All the best to you and your team.

  • Fanatic_cricko on July 13, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Good Luck Afridi. Wish you all the best. It is worth watching you on the field..........no doubt the most AGRESSIVE player onfiled. Expect a similiar T20 treatment to Aussies in the 2 tests..............

  • Pathiyal on July 13, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    Yessss, he is the man......bold and beautiful attitude. I have to support him and I will.

  • aliGreinvented on July 13, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    there is no place of religion in the national team. it is embarassing to follow my country's cricket team with men like these at the helm.

  • adil8 on July 13, 2010, 3:55 GMT

    Afridi says that there was no one except him to lead the team!! He is RIGHT!! He along with other players back stabbed Younis & Yousuf to clear his way!! He recently told Local Pakistani Media that Younis was not picked as he had disciplinary issues!! RIDICULOUS!! This is coming out of the man who Tempered the pitch, Hit Spectator and recently Bit the Ball in Australia!! This LIAR is Nothing But a Lapdog of Ijaz Butt and DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE CAPTAIN!!

  • landl47 on July 13, 2010, 3:06 GMT

    Good sentiments. I'm sure Pakistan will do well in the field. However, the captain can do nothing to keep a batsman's bails on if the player doesn't have enough talent. That's the problem for Pakistan at the moment.

  • on July 13, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    he is a truth speaker !!!!! work hard and ALLAH will help u guys

  • Tridev979 on July 13, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is the world's most aggressive player and this on field aggression has been his identity for years.This is what makes him so special,the ability to rise to the occasion is something what is very remarkable about him.He desperately wants to win for Pakistan and is the most sacrificing and selfless player I've ever seen in my life.Undoubtedly Shahid Afridi is the most most influential modern day allrounder.

  • on July 13, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Very good interview, u did great Brother Shahid Afridi.May Allah bless u and ur team to win this test series Inshaa-Allah.

  • cricsecular on July 13, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Finally I believe Pakistan has fixed the Capaincy issue by appointing the right candidate which they must have done as soon as Younis Khan was not willing but PCB didn't believe Afridi that was a big mistake. For me giving responsbilities to a record holder like Afridi would really help the team. Looks like the Openers are nicely coming along thats the another good sign. Third improvement is last year new comers Umar Akmal and Aamer are paying back. Fourth, there are signs for team unity under Afridi. Fifth, hopes on Umar Amin and Azhar Ali for establishing themshelves are there but need to be given a fair chance and also for Yasir Hameed.

    I am really sick of watching alots disturbances in the recent year, only Afridi can cure lots of PAK teams problem as he is honest, committed, dedicated, interested, etc.

    Lets all wish him (esp. pray for PCB/Selectors not to make any mistakes more) best.

  • on July 13, 2010, 0:29 GMT

    Ponting thinks he can sort the Pathan out.Lol. 2-0 in T20s wasnt enough for the kangaroos I guess.

  • on July 12, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    His personality and his energy level would definitely help him lead the side. Under him the team looks to have a purpose on the field.

    I have seen him lead the Karachi Dolphins - which after the talented Sialkot Stallions - is the best domestic T20 team. Captain or not. Afridi is a leader!!

  • Zahidsaltin on July 12, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    REMEMBER Imran khan did two things to have it his way (1) He got rid of those who could possibly have a personality clash with him (2) His own perfomances became twice as good as before captaincy, his batting average rose from 29 to 54. he gave 100 % and got 120 % from his players. Imran brought raw talent in to the fold and gave them full backing. I think you backed off from your own worlds by not giving Mohammad Irfan a chance some where in so many matches on your hand, and your choice of Imran Farhat and not Yaser Hamid. He is statistically the worst opner among all 20 opening bats representing the 10 test nations at the moment. And then not giving a chance to Naved Yasin when he is on high, is an other bad decision.At the end I think your own performances in the coming weeks will be the most important factor in ur captaincy.

  • bookie7600 on July 12, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    Good Bloke. I hope Pakis beat the sh#t outta Aus, but I know its a HUGE task.

  • FaisaLKarim on July 12, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    Shahid Afridi at his true best. The guy enjoys a level of faith in the higher being, himself, and his team that hasn't been seen in most (Pakistani) captains of late. Wish him the very best. He is going to impress a few.

  • AliOnline on July 12, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    I Love Shahid Afridi's confidence and goal. This man will take Pakistan far...

  • on July 12, 2010, 22:16 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is a person who is highly unpredictable with his tactics. On some day he would make batting look so easy and beautiful. But the other day around he used to get out a silly shot. But honestly his unpredictability brings the best out of him for himself and for the viewers.

    Captaincy has certainly inspired him to come good not just as a player but as a team player. His inspiration on the field during the t20s against Australia was exemplary. Pakistan really need someone who can handle the 'crooked' nuts like Akhtar, Malik and Akmal, but at the same time utilize their potential to the maximum!

    Too early to judge him as a test player/captain, but Afridi the individual has finally grown up into a mature man who can proudly lead a Pakistani team with command and authority.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 12, 2010, 22:16 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is a person who is highly unpredictable with his tactics. On some day he would make batting look so easy and beautiful. But the other day around he used to get out a silly shot. But honestly his unpredictability brings the best out of him for himself and for the viewers.

    Captaincy has certainly inspired him to come good not just as a player but as a team player. His inspiration on the field during the t20s against Australia was exemplary. Pakistan really need someone who can handle the 'crooked' nuts like Akhtar, Malik and Akmal, but at the same time utilize their potential to the maximum!

    Too early to judge him as a test player/captain, but Afridi the individual has finally grown up into a mature man who can proudly lead a Pakistani team with command and authority.

  • AliOnline on July 12, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    I Love Shahid Afridi's confidence and goal. This man will take Pakistan far...

  • FaisaLKarim on July 12, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    Shahid Afridi at his true best. The guy enjoys a level of faith in the higher being, himself, and his team that hasn't been seen in most (Pakistani) captains of late. Wish him the very best. He is going to impress a few.

  • bookie7600 on July 12, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    Good Bloke. I hope Pakis beat the sh#t outta Aus, but I know its a HUGE task.

  • Zahidsaltin on July 12, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    REMEMBER Imran khan did two things to have it his way (1) He got rid of those who could possibly have a personality clash with him (2) His own perfomances became twice as good as before captaincy, his batting average rose from 29 to 54. he gave 100 % and got 120 % from his players. Imran brought raw talent in to the fold and gave them full backing. I think you backed off from your own worlds by not giving Mohammad Irfan a chance some where in so many matches on your hand, and your choice of Imran Farhat and not Yaser Hamid. He is statistically the worst opner among all 20 opening bats representing the 10 test nations at the moment. And then not giving a chance to Naved Yasin when he is on high, is an other bad decision.At the end I think your own performances in the coming weeks will be the most important factor in ur captaincy.

  • on July 12, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    His personality and his energy level would definitely help him lead the side. Under him the team looks to have a purpose on the field.

    I have seen him lead the Karachi Dolphins - which after the talented Sialkot Stallions - is the best domestic T20 team. Captain or not. Afridi is a leader!!

  • on July 13, 2010, 0:29 GMT

    Ponting thinks he can sort the Pathan out.Lol. 2-0 in T20s wasnt enough for the kangaroos I guess.

  • cricsecular on July 13, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Finally I believe Pakistan has fixed the Capaincy issue by appointing the right candidate which they must have done as soon as Younis Khan was not willing but PCB didn't believe Afridi that was a big mistake. For me giving responsbilities to a record holder like Afridi would really help the team. Looks like the Openers are nicely coming along thats the another good sign. Third improvement is last year new comers Umar Akmal and Aamer are paying back. Fourth, there are signs for team unity under Afridi. Fifth, hopes on Umar Amin and Azhar Ali for establishing themshelves are there but need to be given a fair chance and also for Yasir Hameed.

    I am really sick of watching alots disturbances in the recent year, only Afridi can cure lots of PAK teams problem as he is honest, committed, dedicated, interested, etc.

    Lets all wish him (esp. pray for PCB/Selectors not to make any mistakes more) best.

  • on July 13, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Very good interview, u did great Brother Shahid Afridi.May Allah bless u and ur team to win this test series Inshaa-Allah.

  • Tridev979 on July 13, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    Shahid Afridi is the world's most aggressive player and this on field aggression has been his identity for years.This is what makes him so special,the ability to rise to the occasion is something what is very remarkable about him.He desperately wants to win for Pakistan and is the most sacrificing and selfless player I've ever seen in my life.Undoubtedly Shahid Afridi is the most most influential modern day allrounder.