Afridi wants dignified exits for Pakistan seniors

LAHORE: Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi said Monday the team’s senior cricketers should be given dignified farewells, after veteran batsman Younis Khan was unceremoniously axed from the one-day squad.

An incensed Younis lashed out at selectors last week for not including him in their plans for next month’s series against Australia, a decision he learnt about only when the squad was announced in the media.

The 36-year-old Test star, who has a history of making outspoken announcements, offered to step aside from all cricket for five months.

The Pakistan Cricket Board issued a show cause notice asking Younis to explain his outburst. But 34-year-old Afridi, who has already retired from Tests, backed his colleague.

“I request the PCB chairman to talk to Younis and make a plan for the future,” he told reporters. “I think all the seniors should be given a respectful way to retire.”

Former Pakistan greats like Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad and Mohammed Yousuf were forced into humiliating exits despite years of service.

On the subject of the upcoming series, recently reappointed captain Afridi admitted his team would be missing the services of spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was suspended earlier this month after being tested with an illegal bowling action.

“We will definitely miss Ajmal,” said Afridi of the ace spinner.

“But I am hopeful that Ajmal will alter his action and will be seen in action soon,” he added.

Pakistan and Australia play one Twenty20 in Dubai on October 5 followed by three one-day internationals and two Tests.

Afridi also vowed to live up to the expectations as a captain by fully concentrating on elevating team’s performance.

“It is a big responsibility given to me and I will fully try to justify in the role of the captain in a professional way,” he said.

The national Twenty20 captain said he endorses the views of the national selectors to try our young talented before the next year’s World Cup to field a balanced combination in the mega event.

“Still we have time to prepare and groom our team for the Cup to have variety of talented players in the team to gain desired results in the Cup,” said Afridi.

To a question, he said those who are talking about his lack of performance should know that there is no big name in the team and every player goes through a bad patch.

“It would be my utmost effort to spend most of the time in Lahore by engaging myself in cricket practice because of available facilities here,” he said.

About the Author