'Afridi immature, has poor discipline' - Waqar
Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, has hit out at former captain Shahid Afridi in his tour report of Pakistan's series in the Caribbean, saying, "as a captain he is very immature, has poor discipline, lacks a gameplan and is unwilling to listen to others' opinions or advice." The report, whose excerpts have been published in Dawn, confirms the existence of a rift between captain and coach during the end of the tour, with Waqar admitting that Afridi walked out of a meeting over differences relating to selection.
The acrimonious relationship was also acknowledged by team manager Intikhab Alam in his tour report, in which he - while saying Waqar had at times been "arrogant" - described Afridi as a "highly hyper-active personality who lacks [the] temperament to listen to other people's point of views or look for solutions for the betterment of the team."
Afridi was removed as ODI captain after the tour and reacted by retiring "conditionally" from international cricket due to the "humiliation" inflicted by the PCB. His criticism of the board led to the suspension of his central contract and revocation of NOCs permitting him to play cricket overseas. The matter now rests before a disciplinary committee, which is scheduled to meet Afridi - who faces charges of violating the board's code of conduct - on June 8.
"Besides myself, the rest of the coaching staff has worked very hard with him to improve his abilities as a long-term and successful captain but sometimes his volatile and immature nature have proved detrimental and led to unfortunate outcomes including game losses," Waqar said.
Pakistan won the ODI series 3-2 but lost the final two games, both dead rubbers. The tour report reveals there was considerable disagreement between Waqar and Afridi over the team composition for those two matches.
Before the fourth and fifth ODIs, Waqar said, Afridi "came into the meetings with a decisive mindset and was refusing to discuss playing XI options. I, as a part of the touring selection committee, tried to discuss different options for the team but he behaved very inappropriately and walked out of the meeting.
"His attitude and unwillingness to sort out matters led to a very uncomfortable dressing-room environment which affected the players' performance, resulting in the last two losses of the ODI series."
Alam, in his report, said there was also a disagreement over Afridi's decision to suddenly promote himself up the order in one of those two games, as that hadn't initially been part of the team strategy. "At one stage we were 200 for two in forty overs. All of a sudden Afridi promoted himself and as soon as he went in, the very next over he took the Powerplay and got himself out. The entire batting order was reshuffled and as a result, we could only manage 40-odd runs after that.
"After losing the match Waqar was furious why he was not consulted over change in order. Afridi in return told Waqar, 'I am not having a good time as far as my batting is concerned, but how many times you have taken me to the nets and worked with me or talked to me about my batting'. After heated arguments, once again Afridi left the room."
Alam also claimed he told Afridi not to speak to the press about his differences with Waqar, but inform the PCB chairman if he had complaints. But, according to Alam, it wasn't just Afridi whose behaviour had been a problem. "I have also been observing Waqar and feel that he is at times little harsh and arrogant which creates some problems."