Pakistan news October 18, 2011

Afridi withdraws retirement


Shahid Afridi has withdrawn his international retirement and says he is available for selection for Pakistan in the limited-over formats. Afridi had announced a 'conditional' retirement from international cricket in May, after having been stripped of the ODI captaincy, saying he would return if there were changes in the PCB and the team management.

Since then, Waqar Younis has quit as coach of the national team and Ijaz Butt has been replaced as PCB chairman by Zaka Ashraf. Afridi said he had not really retired but had only said he wouldn't play under the previous (Ijaz Butt-led) board.

"I didn't as such retire," Afridi told reporters in Karachi on Tuesday. "I only said I would not play under the previous board but now the people are changed - exactly as I had wanted - so I am available for selection for the country."

His return to the team may not be immediate though, as Pakistan's interim chief selector Mohammad Illyas said there would be protocols to follow for the PCB to clear Afridi for selection. "He [Afridi] is good enough to play for Pakistan," Illyas told ESPNcricinfo. "But he needs to have clearance from the PCB before being available for selection. We will then seriously consider his selection for the team.

"I can't say that he is an automatic selection for the team but at the same time we never questioned his abilities as he has played an ample amount of cricket for Pakistan. We know that he still has cricket left in him. For the PCB, he was a retired player and wasn't available for selection. Today I learned through the media that he has withdrawn his retirement but as a selector I will have to check his status."

Pakistan will select their ODI squad for the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE after the second Test.

Afridi was speaking at the Karachi University Sports ceremony, where he was the chief guest, and was in a pleasant mood. He said he had remained match-fit, and was ready to return under whoever was captain. "I am fit and have continued my individual fitness routine to maintain both the form and fitness required for international cricket. As far as captaincy is concerned I never ran after it and I am ready to play under any captain."

Zaka Ashraf, the new PCB chairman, is a reputed banker in Pakistan, and Afridi said he was looking forward to a professional regime. "I took the decision not to play under the previous board on principle and still stand by it. Now, the management has changed. I learned that the new PCB chairman is very professional and I believe he can handle the PCB's functioning in a similar fashion to the way he has worked in the cooperate sector."

Afridi's issues with the previous board began during Pakistan's tour of the West Indies in May when he was involved in a spat with then coach Waqar Younis. Afridi spoke publicly about the feud, and was charged with a violation of the code of conduct by the PCB. Subsequently, Afridi was replaced as captain in the limited-over formats by Test captain Misbah-ul-haq, with Ijaz Butt saying the board had "solid reasons" to sack Afridi, which he would reveal when the time was right.

Afridi quit international cricket but played for Hampshire in the Friends Life t20 in England. He had maintained throughout that he wanted to play for Pakistan and would make himself available should there be changes in the board.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    good news for world of cricket though i am not a big fan of him cuz of his big mouth that he has but still he is an top quality international performer hopefully he gets selected for pak team and hopefully even gayle selected for wi he has rocked us indians with his remarkable performance in IPL now is time he gets chance to do that in international cricket

  • Amjad on October 20, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Whatever you all people say I still want Afridi to be back in the team & retain his Captaincy !!!

  • mohammad on October 20, 2011, 0:58 GMT

    I think the selectors will be puzzled whether to include Afridi or not in the team. He can not replace anyone from the test and 50 over teams. That leaves only place for him the T20. I think that blind hitting game will suit Afridi. His bowling will be useful too. My prediction, he will be included in the T20 team to make many Pakistani happy. And then he will try to bring back the trouble makers, Shoeb Malik and the Akmals. I know Pakistan's cricket for 40 years. Very unpredictable.

  • Shoaib on October 19, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    Boom Boom always rocks. I'll start following Pakistan cricket again. He is a bowler who can bamboozle any batsman and can hit any bowler out of the park.

  • mahendra on October 19, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    BOOM BOOM is more like' NO MORE' BOOM BOOM & OUT . Gayle , Warner , Sehwag & loads more better strikers make him look like' boom boom '. Pakistan cricket is doing very well without this poor performer.His ego will only disrupt the Pakistan team. Tell him to get on his bike .

  • Bilal on October 19, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Afridi remains THE ONLY star left in the Pak team, and he is perhaps our best bet to have a captain blessed with leadership skills of knowing how to use a stick with carrots. He has had the ability to earn and command respect and hold everyone together as a group (a shadow of a hint what Imran Khan had in full bloom). With Shoaib Malik in the team and Umer Akmal hanging out there Afridi will have a tough to lead. But then again, the way things turn out in Pak cricket I won't be surprised to see Imran Farhat being made that "young, talented, promising youngster" of a captain that we have yearning after Misbah's exit.

  • Arsalan on October 19, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    First of all, Afridi is a mess of a captain so he SHOULD NOT be captain, lets verse him with Misbah, this is proof with stats: Shahid Afridi, 54 Matches: 26 Wins, 27 Lost, 1 NR

    Misbah, 16 Matches: 12 Wins, 1 Lost, 3 Draws

    As you can see according to stats Misbah is a much better captain.

    Shoaib Malik, 56 Matches: 36 wins, 19 Lost, 1 Draw

    According to that Malik's much better than afridi

    So there is no reason afridi should be captain, he's a waste of space in the batting department, not getting past 40 runs in the previous 2 years and even though he is a VERY improved bowler Paksiatn already have a brilliant and large bowling department, woth 3 seamers and a ajmal AND the brilliant all-round hafeez, afridi will not fit in and is not required, he will ONLY cause more drama, I do support pakistan and the current team is probably the best or second-best team after 2003. But afridi will only cause upset and controversy and he will not fit in the squad

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    im an indian but i admire afridi because he genuinely wants his team to do well....under ijaz butt the team was struggling and afridi was the only who had the guts to go against him and look now all 3 ppl who were against afridi are no more part of the team...Waqar,butt and alam....and those of who have doubts over his ability pls check his stats for the past 2 years and give me names of ppl who have done much better than him!!!!!

  • Aftab on October 19, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    @HenrySlate: You are so right. I am Pakistani and agree hundred percent with you. Afridi is a useless cricketer and Pakistan team is performing much better without him. We dont need him in the team at all.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Afridi un-retires: gee, it must be Tuesday again...

  • No featured comments at the moment.