Pakistan news May 8, 2011

Cracks appear in Afridi-Waqar relationship

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's limited overs captain, has hinted at differences with his coach Waqar Younis after arriving in Karachi from the West Indies where he led the side to a victorious, but ultimately deflating 3-2 series win.

Speculation has grown in the last two days about problems between the pair, specifically over issues of team selection. Both, along with team manager Intikhab Alam, are members of the on-tour selection committee which decides on a playing XI. It has been reported that Afridi was unhappy with what he has seen as Waqar's interference in selection; ahead of the fourth ODI against West Indies, one report claimed Afridi almost walked out of a selection meeting and had to be persuaded by Intikhab to come back.

"Although the differences in team management are not such which could not be solved, I feel everyone should do his job and need not interfere in other's work," Afridi told reporters on arrival. He also said he would be meeting the board chairman Ijaz Butt in Lahore next week to discuss the issue.

Board officials have downplayed the matter; one source telling ESPNcricinfo that "no such incident as described in those reports [Afridi walking away from a meeting] occurred during the series." He did concede, however, that there may have been "long-standing issues" over selection matters.

Another senior official confirmed to ESPNcricinfo, however, that differences between the pair had widened during the Caribbean trip. "They did have issues. Afridi believes he should have final say in the XI as he takes the heat when he goes out on the field and Waqar feels strongly that a coach should have input."

The official also confirmed that Intikhab did try to mediate between the two and stressed the need to keep matters within the team rather than leak them to the media as ultimately happened.

Afridi and Waqar went through the World Cup without huge problems but there are longer-term issues. For example, it is widely believed that before the World Cup, before a decision had been made on who would captain Pakistan in the tournament, Waqar was in favour of Misbah-ul-Haq ahead of Afridi as captain.

The matter is complicated by the recent threat to resign by chief selector Mohsin Khan. Although he eventually relented after resolving the matter with Butt and never publicly disclosed who he was having problems with, some reports suggested that he was also unhappy with Waqar's role in selection, especially of the Test squad for the current tour.

The board official believes though that the problems are not something that cannot be resolved. "It is something that has happened before and does crop up every now and again. I don't feel they are irreconcilable differences between the two. Afridi has requested time with the chairman so let's see what happens beyond that."

Pakistan lost the last two games of the series, the last one by ten wickets, having given chances to a number of untried young players such as Hammad Azam, Usman Salahuddin and Junaid Khan through the matches. Afridi regretted his team lost a good chance to win all the matches, calling once again for the involvement of a batting coach with the side.

"We should have clean-swept West Indies but the defeat in the last two matches left a bad taste in the mouth; we flopped in batting and that's why I must say we need a batting coach," said Afridi, who also admitted he was below par in the series.

"I played average cricket because I was tired after the World Cup and only played the series on the advice of some friends and former players."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shahid on May 11, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    "I THINK EVERY ONE SHOULD DO HIS JOB"?? isn't the coach one of the selectors to choose the playing eleven? What are afridi's credentials to select a playing 11. What is reason that Ahmed Shahzad is being kept even if there are very obvious flaws in his batting technique.

  • Manesh on May 11, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @Rage468. you can start PPL. how cares??. If India playing qualification round, then there will not be a team from Pakistan for that WC...ha ha ha.

  • avinash on May 10, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    @irfans1 ...captaincy for hafeez..?..what a joke..this guy is not good enough to make a debut for a decent enough side...he a mediocre player at best...

  • avinash on May 10, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    @hassaanster..In that case afridi would only play school boy cricket all his life..if he were from a decent test playing country...he is pathetic with the ball...and with the bat..?...hahaha....

  • Dummy4 on May 9, 2011, 21:51 GMT

    Afridi is a good entertainer to keep in the team as a specialist bowler, who can sometimes bat. He is no match winner with the ball or the bat. He got wickets in the WC, but only against minnows. His problem is that he wants to be the center of attention and do his stupid little superhero pose when he gets a wicket. Abdul Razzaq is a much more sensible and performing all rounder than Afridi, and I believe he should be given a senior spot (possibly captain) in ODI and T20 format. Sahebzada Shahid Khan Afridi is not a leader, and definitely not a match winner.

  • Rakesh on May 9, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    @hassaanster - Had afridi been playing for any other country he would not even have made a debut. Harbhajan has won many series(Series and not matches mind you) for India. Can you say the same about Mr Boom Boom and Doom in 15 balls Afridi?

  • Rakesh on May 9, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    @SlogSw33p - and which cricket ground are u in currently. everyone here writes comments from behind the computer. One does not need to play international cricket to know that someone is inconsistent.I have played enough to know good player. It shows your maturity mate. Afridi was good with the ball not with the bat that too against minnows most of the time. he is being taken as an alrounder but hardly does anything with the bat. ..fastest century was a looong loong time back.

  • Hassaan on May 9, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    @cric_fanatics...we're talking about ODIs here...and harbhajans 400 wickets have come at an average of 31 with an an away average of 38...last five years overall he's averaged 40, 31, 30, 46 and 52....had he been playing for any other country he wouldve been thrown out a long time back

  • PUNIT on May 9, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    @Omar KHan I find your argument of keeping Afridi in the team because he has an x number of records very amusing. Dravid and Ganguly have an equal number of records if not more than Afridi, but were still phased out of the ODI team. Ricky Ponting is the best example. He's one of the greatest cricketers of the decade but when he'll be dropped he wont say i should be in the team because of the amount of runs/centuries/world cups i have won. What you can do presently or in the near future matters more than what you've done in the past or how many records you hold.

  • Jawwad on May 9, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    Guys! If you are a passenger in a bus. Would you let Afridi drive it? That is exactly the issue between Afridi and Waqar as the latter thinks this guy is not capable of making sane decisions then how come he will let him pick playing 11?

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