Retirement a joke for Shahid Afridi?

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Published: Friday, June 22, 2012, 16:23 [IST]
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Retirement a joke for Afridi?

The most talented all-rounder in the game of cricket, aggressive cricketer, who holds the record for the fastest ODI century till date, Pakistan's Shahid Afridi belongs to the group of elite cricketers, as it is difficult to replace a person of his caliber, might not get an introduction similar to the above, thanks to his off-field action which might erase the pulsating knocks of the cricketer soon, as he has taken retirement as a joke and has failed to live up to the expectations of the team management.

Known for his aggressive behaviour, the cricketer is known for getting involved in controversies, the recent one being his decision to review ODI career.

Having announced his retirement last year after a spat between the then Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt, the talented all-rounder was sacked as ODI captain, which made him take the ultimate step of announcing retirement from all forms of the game.

But it seemed like a drama, as Afridi was back in Pakistan colors playing T20 and ODIs for the country after Zaka Ashraf took over as PCB Chairman.

Having announced his retirement in May 2011, the maverick all-rounder also made it clear that he wanted to play for the country against Sri Lanka in the ODI series, since the team management had changed, a reference to the resignation of coach Waqar Younis after the Zimbabwe tour in September.

The legendary fast bowler and former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram also expressed his displeasure after hearing the decision taken by Afridi, to play international cricket in September 2011, having announced his retirement a couple of months ago, and termed it as joke.

"Shahid Afridi is making things too complicated for the Pakistan Cricket Board. Cricket is a team game and not an individual sport. You have to treat the interests of the team and the management above your individual preferences. So I think Afridi should decide once and for all whether he wants to retire or not," Akram had told PTI last year.

"His (Afridi's) retirement has become a joke now. You can't play cricket on your own terms.

"You will have difference with your coaches, with your chairman and with your colleagues but it should not show in your outlook. At the end of the day you are representing your nation -- Pakistan," the legendary left-arm pacer had said, following Afridi's return to the game after his unconditional retirement citing differences with coach Waqar Younis and a spat with PCB chairman Butt.

Just over eight months since his return, Afridi has again announced that he would like to review his ODI career following his poor performance with the bat and ball.

The all-rounder has secured just 175 runs and claimed 14 wickets off 14 matches in ODIs this year, which has been a total let-down for the team as it has lost the ODI series against England earlier this year followed by a 3-1 loss to Sri Lanka in June 2012.

Now, it remains to be seen if Afridi, acts in a matured manner and take a wise decision on his ODI career at the earliest.


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