‘I think I am still better than lots of players’, says Shahid Afridi

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Afridi was critical of the national selectors’ eagerness to drop struggling players

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has declared that even though he has not been picked for many of national team’s recent tours, he is “still better than lots of players”.

Afridi’s recent run of poor form forced the national selectors to make the painful decision of dropping him twice in six months, which left a lot of pundits and former players questioning whether ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi would ever be seen again.

In the 21 ODIs he has played since January 2012, Afridi only picked up 15 wickets at a less than impressive average of 57.13 and scored 308 runs at a dismal average of 19.25.

Despite having one good innings during Pakistan’s tour of South Africa, where he made 88, the selectors decided to drop Afridi for the Champions Trophy in favour of younger talents.

Prior to the start of the Caribbean tour, Afridi had been working tirelessly at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore to regain some form and get back into shape.

“I am doing my best and working so hard in the nets at the National Cricket Academy over the past two-three weeks,” Afridi said. “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.”

Afridi was also quick to denounce the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and national selectors for having a quick trigger finger when it came to players going through a rough patch.

“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.”

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