Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has revealed that he may consider retiring from ODIs after the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Even though Afridi has not played Test cricket in over four years, he is still an integral part of Pakistan’s limited overs squads.
“The 2015 World Cup is very important for three-four senior players,” Afridi said. “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 currently taking part in a month-long training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, but reportedly injured his back just recently.
“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.”
When asked if he would consider replacing Mohammad Hafeez as Twenty20 captain, Afridi said: “Captaincy isn’t a bed of roses. 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.”
Hafeez resigned as Twenty20 captain following Pakistan’s dismal performance at the recent World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Afridi also stated that he was looking forward to working with head coach Waqar Younis, even though the pair did not see eye to eye when Younis coached the national team in 2010-11.
“If Vicky [Waqar] bhai or Shahid Afridi didn’t learn from their mistakes, we can’t move forward,” he said. “We should all forget it and move forward for the good of the country.”
Afridi also expressed his frustration towards the ongoing power struggle at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Najam Sethi was recently replaced by Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman, but the Supreme Court reversed the Islamabad High Court’s decision and Sethi was back in power just two days later.
“It tarnishes the image of cricket and the country,” Afridi said. “I think cricket and cricketers should not suffer from such things, that’s it.”