'Find out reasons for Afridi's decision' - Miandad
Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain, has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to find out the genuine reasons for which Shahid Afridi, the allrounder, decided to stop playing Test matches until the next World Cup.
"I was surprised to read today, that the PCB Chairman told the reporters that the board would have to review the terms of the central contract it has given to Afridi, if he does not change his decision," Miandad told The News. "Instead of talking about money and contracts, I think the board should try to find out why he has taken this strange decision."
Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, told reporters on Sunday that the board would speak to Afridi and would try to persuade him to change his mind. He added if this didn't happen, then it would have to obviously review the terms and conditions of his contract.
Afridi has taken a temporary retirement from Test cricket saying that he wanted to concentrate on one-day matches and prepare for the World Cup. He citied excess of cricket these days and his failure to adjust to both forms of the game as the reason for his retirement.
But Miandad said that the board needed to find out what led Afridi to make such a drastic move. "If excess cricket is the reason with which I don't agree, then you could have other players also following the same line in the near future," he said. Miandad, 48, who played 124 Tests and 233 one-dayers, said that instead of worrying about the sort of contract which was given to Afridi, the board should get to the bottom of the reasons for his decision.
"By saying that the board would have to review the terms of his contract if he didn't change his decision, the PCB has basically given the impression that it is trying to put the allrounder under pressure to change his mind," he explained. "I have played for over 20 years for Pakistan and I think the board needs to handle the Afridi issue more efficiently and sensibly. He is a good player and a rare commodity. You don't get players who can bat, bowl and field brilliantly and have the potential of being true matchwinners in both forms of the game."
Miandad, who was also the team coach on three occasions, said that he also didn't agree with the boards' decision to try and hireJonty Rhodes, the former South African player, as a fielding consultant. "I don't know where this idea came from," he said. "And I don't think Jonty would be able to make much of a difference to our fielding standards by just coming over here for a few weeks. It would be a waste of good money.
"I am willing to tell the board, the reasons for our inconsistent fielding standards. But at the end of the day, when it comes to fielding, each individual player must have enough keenness and interest by himself in order to try, improve and gain experience in the fielding department. You can't force a player to dive, he does it himself."