Pakistan news May 23, 2014

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on July 21, 2014, 14:47 GMT

    shahid afridi is a superstar n I am waiting to see afridi batting n I am a big fan of afridi and I want to see afridi for play at least for 5-6 years at least

  • aziz on May 27, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Shahid Afridi and Younus Khan are the two players who should be considered for the role of captain for ODI.

  • Zohaib on May 27, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    When Wasim Akram (my all time fav cricketer) retired, I became really sad and didn't followed any Cricket for 6 months or so, and would feel the same when this guy Boom Boom retires (he is a Legend - like Wasim) and as Cricinfo says 'Cricket is not cricket without Afridi - and the World will not see another box office player like him' - very true!

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2014, 20:01 GMT

    @t20cric,u r comparaltively r8..but i am telling that if pak plays only for 15 matches a year then it may take a long time but look at him,dont u think he is still able to to play for 5 more years.also it is really harsh pak plays 10-15 matches a is true that they play a lot more less than all those 3 but they play almost similar no of matches as the their counterparts such as NZ, WI do.if pcb somehw able to arrange a few home series especially against SL,ZIM nd may be AFG nd negotiate with ecb nd ca so that they play some matches at their turf,then obviously it is not quite impossible for afridi to play all those matches...nd also if u really want to see himi regain his fastest ton then definitely he must bat a little up in the order and the pitch has to flattest. it think atleast on one point u may agree with me nd that is apart from kallis,he is the other guy playing before 90s nd his pos. in his team comparatively certain compared to that of kallis.thats why i hv told so.

  • asad on May 26, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Whenever Afridi does retire not only Pakistani cricket fans but cricket fans all over the world will be sad that he is leaving because it will be hard to find someone else like him. Even though Anderson has taken Afridi's famous record people still love Afridi with Anderson being relatively unknown. I hope he can play for the rest of his career with the kind of form he was in during the Asia cup 2014. Afridi should try to end his ODI career with a bowling average lower than 30 and batting average higher then 28. Or if he can manage it then switch his ODI bowling and batting averages (if he can do this then he's truly a great) and finish with 500+ wickets.

  • asad on May 26, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    @Abdullah Al Mamun: That's quite a lot you have planned there for Afridi. I for one do really want him to get back his record for fastest century and retain it until he retires from cricket. The thing is that if you want him to play more matches than Tendulkar & get 10000 runs + 500 wickets it will take him a long time. If you check just this year we have 3 ODIs vs SL, 3 ODIs vs AUS and 5 ODIs vs NZ. Thats not so makes only 11 ODIs more this year for him. If Afridi played for a Big3 team then he could easily get those records but Pakistan don't play as much as those other teams. Afridi's currently 34 right now so he'll have to play til 40 to get these records at a rate of about 10-15 ODIs per year.

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    he should play cricket atleast for another few years.he is only player to break the on of the records of sachin and that is the most number of matches.He is 85 odi short nd to be equal to sachin in terms of playing matches.also he should retire from t20 after playing t20 wc and concentrate more on playing bcoz a person usually looses strength with his age nd t20 is usually not for old guys.and if he improves his batting nd bowling a little then it is not impossible for him to scoree 2381 runs and get 122 wickets in those 85 matches so that he could become single allrounder to have 10000 runs and 500 wickets which will also lead him to become 2nd pakistani and 3rd as a whole to grab 500 wickets.moreover if afridi wants to give a try to regain his previous record of making fastest hundred, he should come and bat a little up the order and ofcourse the pitch has to be flat. it is up to pcb that hw they utilize afridi whether play lower order or top order batsman.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2014, 14:34 GMT

    love lala on field off field ......a great personalty a true pathan,

  • Arif on May 24, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    El_Toro_Loco. I don't think, it's necessary to place such comment. Afridi has fans among many nationalities, even my Indian mates enjoy watching him bat. We have to learn to enjoy the game in the sprite and appreciate others as well. Cheers.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    Let's defer the talk of retirement for now Shahid Khan Afridi :) Concentrate on your fitness and stay healthy. I want you to play, like you did during the Asia cup. Salaam from India :)

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