Pakistan news July 2, 2013

'I am still better than lots of players' - Afridi


Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi's ODI career has a question mark hanging over it after he was dropped twice in the last six months following poor runs, but he remains hopeful of making a comeback for the upcoming West Indies series and is keen on playing both shorter formats.

In the 21 ODIs he has played since January 2012, Afridi has picked up 15 wickets at 57.13 and scored 308 runs at 19.25. While he is an automatic selection in the Twenty20 squad, he last made an ODI comeback on the tour to South Africa earlier this year, where he remained wicketless and scored 126 in four innings with a high score of 88. He was subsequently dropped from the Champions Trophy, and has not played competitive cricket since April.

Now, though, he is pushing himself hard to be ready for the West Indies series that begins with a practice one-dayer on July 11. He has been training at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore over the past couple of weeks, and he passed the fitness test he was subjected to. The Pakistan selectors will meet in Lahore on Wednesday afternoon to finalise the squad, and Afridi said he still had the desire and skills to make the team. "I am doing my best and working so hard in the nets at the National Cricket Academy over the past two-three weeks. I have working on many areas of the game and I want to play both [shorter] forms of the game.

"I think I am still better than lots of players; there should be professional jealousy in me. I know how important my performance is as a senior player for the team. You can't judge a player based only on Twenty20 performance."

Dropping "match-winners", Afridi said, was not the way to go. Key players, he said, even when they lose form, should "stay with the team". "Poor form doesn't really reflect that a player is at the wrong side of his game," he said. "Those players who are around with the team for years and are also match-winners should be kept with the team to boost their confidence. Teams are carrying their match-winners like David Warner [despite him being suspended]. You can't be in form if you stay out of the team."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on July 15, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    i think afridi is the best player in pak team. He is match winner yaar,cant compare with other player

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    I love Afridi but i need to ask him.. how long has a player need to be playing without making significant contribution to the team.. being senior or star player should not be the credential to be in the team.. Play well stay in !! Otherwise give young guys a chance !!

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    @dmqi i think 10% think Fuad Alam in team. He is not a good Player. S,K,F dropped and Afridi and Shezaad and Umer comes in its a Good Move for Pk Team. i missed Razaaq he should be in team. but he is not misfortune for Pakistan ...

  • Nasser on July 4, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    PCB is without ideas and just keep rotating players who are sub-standard. Afridi is a classic example of this who has lost so many matches for Pakistan and only won a few. He fails in 9 innings and performs in one. Just compare his statistics to the players of other international teams. Afridi should be out for good while Umar Akmal should be kept out of test cricket as he is sub-standard too. Only occasionally and because other players are not performing either, Umar can be given chances in limited over cricket.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Move Afridi once you have found a suitable replacement (a spinner who can be handful with the bat). Dropping Malik was a no brainer. He is not a front line batsman and has done practically nothing with the bowling. Hafeez has had his struggles with the bat, but the guy is more than handy as a bowler. So his inclusion in the team is automatic. Once again, logic is, find a better player, move him in the team at the expense of someone who is not performing.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Afridi still has the ability to contribute he has had a lean patch but in South Africa he seemed to be regaining his touch with the bat he scored a quick fire 34 and than the breathtaking 88. I think he will comeback hungry. His real age being around 36 I think he can play till 2015 WC.

  • mohammad on July 4, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    I am going to have a good 4th of July Barbecue party today in Maryland near DC, as Malik, Kamran and Farhat has been dropped. We all were looking for good young players, we got a few. If I get two more replacement, I will have a bigger party in the future. Can anyone tell me who the other two are?

  • Basim on July 4, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Thank God.... Shoaib malik, farhat and kamranakmal are gone. .. We need talented and consistent players like hammad azam, haris sohail and ahmad shehzad..

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    i like the aticle. i also believe that pakistan must move on with youngsters. But there has to be some direction and guidance from senior players, Afridi is only 33. Maybe giving him the responsibility of guiding youngters will make him perform better.

    However, can someone please tell me ho this Umar amin is and why iss he constanly persisted with in both fomats. Whee is Azhar fo the 50 ovr version.

    iam amazedd

  • Saif on July 4, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    It may sound cocky but he is actually right in saying that he is better than a lot of current players in the PAK squad. If this team had been good and been performing consistently, I'd say keep Afridi out, but not in the current scenario. PAK team needs better batters and I welcome this move from the selectors. The choice is always situation specific and you just cant compare with India or Australia as their young crop of players are all performing well unlike PAK. I wish Afridi comes good on this tour and with the maturity of age (as a positive factor and not negative) on his side, should give the team the right balance and mentor the youngsters. Good Luck Afridi....from a team India and MSD Fan