Pakistan news February 24, 2016

Shahid Afridi reconsidering T20I retirement


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Shahid Afridi: T20I veteran

Pakistan T20I captain Shahid Afridi has said he is facing "huge pressure" from family and friends to not retire from international cricket in April at the end of the World T20 in India. Afridi, who will turn 36 on March 1, plays only T20 internationals for Pakistan and is now reconsidering his decision to quit the format.

After the 2015 World Cup, Afridi had announced his intention to retire from international cricket following the World T20, but now it appears he has not made up his mind. "I'm not saying that," he told ESPNcricinfo in Dubai, when asked if he was going to continue playing. "I am saying there is a lot of pressure on me that I shouldn't retire from T20. That I can play on, and as such there is no real talent coming through in Pakistan whose place I am taking.

"For a while now there is a lot of pressure from my family, a lot of pressure from my friends, including my elders, who say there is no need for me to retire from Twenty20. That is a huge pressure. For now, in truth, I am focusing only on the World Cup. That is a huge challenge for me.

"First I want to see where Pakistan stand in the World Cup. Whether I am capable of taking the team forward on the back of my performances. I want to check where I am standing myself. As far as playing goes my fitness is zabardast (awesome). Energy is also there. I can play cricket. But I would be able to tell things clearly after the World Twenty20."

Afridi was the catalyst in Pakistan's World T20 triumph in 2009 in England, when he made half-centuries in the semi-final and final. He has played in all five editions of the World T20 and has the most international caps and wickets in the format - 90 and 91. Afridi's economy rate of 6.66 is third best in all T20s for bowlers with 200 wickets - only West Indies offspinner Sunil Narine and Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal are ahead of him in the list of 14. His batting strike rate of 154.61 is second only to Andre Russell among batsmen with 2000-plus T20 runs. Afridi's T20I captaincy record is mixed with 16 wins and 19 losses in 35 internationals.

In the Pakistan Super League, where he led Peshawar Zalmi, Afridi was the second highest wicket-taker for his team, with ten wickets. He scored only 87 runs in seven innings, though, and Peshawar were eliminated in the third qualifying final by eventual winners Islamabad United.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Atif on February 26, 2016, 15:01 GMT

    Afridi is the most overrated player i have ever seen and i am a pakistani. This guy has basically not performed throughout his career but just because our naive fans have loved him for his aggressive style he's been in the team. Like i said before, if he was playing for australia, england or SA, they would've kicked him out long time ago. So, Mr BOOM BOOM please retire so we can have some youngsters come in and learn the game of cricket. You're holding a spot as does shoaib malik. So, please GO.

  • Taahir on February 26, 2016, 12:46 GMT

    I think T20 cricket suits his style of play and as long as Afridi is fit, he should continue to play. He still has tremendous support in this format and I still would like to see him play.

  • Steve on February 26, 2016, 3:26 GMT

    Afridi was always a hit or miss player, but his success rate has in any department has dipped quite low in the last 2/3 years. I always like to watch him bat or bowl as you never know when you might see the spark. However, he should retire gracefully after T20 WC.

  • Farhad on February 26, 2016, 3:11 GMT

    I beg you Afridi, for the sake of Pakistan cricket team please leave now and immediately, don't wait for Asia or World cup

  • shahina on February 26, 2016, 3:08 GMT

    why worry so much. you are not in good form plus you are old. you should have retired few years ago

  •   Saptarshi Deb on February 26, 2016, 2:58 GMT

    I completely agree with Ahmad bhaijaan here.. as far as I know Afridi is one such player who commands a lot of respect from everyone in India.. we all love watching him play & do well.. it would be really disappointing to see him retire...

  • Syed on February 26, 2016, 2:45 GMT

    Afridi doesn't deserve a place only as a bowler, 91 wickets in 90 matches. His strike rate is lowest among the bowlers with 50+ wickets so he has to compensate with his batting, which sadly is gone few years ago. Now practically he is blocking the place of some talented players like may be Nawaz or may be Imad Wasim.

  •   Ahmad Jawaid on February 25, 2016, 22:29 GMT

    Can you think of any one player in the world that hardly performs with consistency with the bat, yet all teams fear him when he takes his guard more than anyone in the game? Yes Afridi, as much as i think he is immature, you must be honest, It's the fear factor in the eyes of every opponent, and the appreciation in the hearts of real cricket fans that make him the best.

  • kamran on February 25, 2016, 20:07 GMT

    A lot of people who are criticizing Afridi are actually those who were used to be fans of Afridi hard hitting and now they couldn't see Afridi long sixes for a long time and get frustrated so want him to retire but the fact is that Afridi has admitted couple of year ago that he now think himself as a bowler not an allrounder so y u guys still focusing his batting..?? if u saw his bowling records than it is obvious that he deserves to play T20 as a bowler. So stop criticizing him and let make him decision. please

  • Android on February 25, 2016, 19:54 GMT

    I think only haters comment here and that is the minority. The 80% feels happy to hear this news and dont check this forum to comment. How can you forget his performances which makes you watch again and again. In youtube, afridi's performance has the most views. Afridi is the leading wicket taker and among the top runs scorer in t20s. He was the man of the series in first t20 world cup and man of the match in second t20 world cup semi final and final. How could have pakistan got the t20 world cup without him. He might not be in good form now. But he doesnt fail with both the bat and ball in a match. His presence is still important for the team. Haters will realize it once he retires.Remember one statement from espncricinfo when he retired from ODI after world cup 2015, "It can safely be said that cricket never has and never will see another Afridi. To say he is an allrounder is to say Albert Einstein was a scientist.

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