Afridi to assess ODI future after World Cup
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has said he will assess his future in ODIs after the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Afridi hasn't played Test cricket in four years but is a regular part of Pakistan's limited-overs squads.
"The 2015 World Cup is very important for three-four senior players," Afridi said in Lahore. "I've always said that my cricket is attached to my fitness and performance. But maybe I will retire from one-day cricket and carry on playing T20 format, I will take the final decision after seeing my performance in 2015."
Afridi is presently taking part in a month-long camp along with Pakistan's other probables and he reportedly injured his back while training. The first portion of the camp focused on fitness and now the players are being put through fielding drills.
"I've been playing cricket for the last 18 years, I have attended lots of camps but no doubt this camp is very tough," Afridi said. "Credit goes to Mohammad Akram [national academy coach] and his team for the way they have organised this camp. I am fit though there is some stiffness, but that is with every player. It's good for all the players who are attending this camp, and even if they don't get a central contract they will realise they have to touch a certain level and maintain it."
Pakistan are led by Misbah-ul-Haq in Tests and ODIs but they do not have a T20 captain at the moment, after Mohammad Hafeez resigned following a poor showing at the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh. Afridi said leading Pakistan was an honour, one he had enjoyed during the 2011 World Cup, when Pakistan qualified for the semi-finals.
"Captaincy isn't a bed of roses," Afridi said. "It's an honour for players. I have forgotten lots of things that happened in the past [removal from captaincy when Ijaz Butt was PCB chairman], but whatever happened, I didn't wish to be the captain. I don't play to survive in cricket, whatever cricket is left in me I want to give it back to my country."
Afridi said he was looking forward to a fresh start with Pakistan's new coach Waqar Younis, with whom he had differences during a previous term. "If Vicky [Waqar] bhai or Shahid Afridi didn't learn from their mistakes, we can't move forward. We should all forget it and move forward for the good of the country."
When asked for his opinion on the turmoil in the PCB leadership, with Najam Sethi and Zaka Ashraf involved in a legal tussle, Afridi said, "It tarnishes the image of cricket and the country. I think cricket and cricketers should not suffer from such things, that's it."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson