The Pakistan Cricket Board has grilled Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi for poor performance in World T20.
Earlier, Shahid Afridi said he was no longer up to captaining Pakistan after his team s exit Friday from the World Twenty20 but held back from making an announcement on his possible retirement.
Going into the match against Australia, the 36-year-old had strongly hinted it would be his last appearance for his country after nearly two decades of international cricket.
But Afridi, who quit as Pakistan s Test captain back in 2010 and has also already called time on his ODI career, said he still felt fit enough to carry on playing at the highest level.
“I will announce it in my country. Whatever is better for the country, I will go with that,” Afridi said at the post-match ceremony in Mohali when asked if he was going to retire.
“I will see my form. There is pressure, media pressure. As a player, I am fit. As a captain, I am not fit,” he added after the 21-run defeat against Australia.
Afridi is highest wicket-taker in the history of Twenty20 cricket with 97.
And the man known as “Boom Boom” for his explosive batting, has also hit a record-breaking number of sixes in all three formats since making his international debut in October 1996.
WAQAR LAMENTS DECLINE OF PAKISTAN
Coach Waqar Younis on Friday lamented the decline of Pakistan cricket after his team were knocked out of the World Twenty20 with a disappointing 21-run defeat against Australia.
A wayward Pakistan let Australia off the hook after having them in early trouble at 57-3 in the must-win group tie at Mohali.
The Aussies were quick to capitalise on some shoddy bowling and fielding, posting a commanding 193-4 before restricting Shahid Afridi’s men to 172-8.
The early ouster of the 2009 champions from the tournament has put skipper Afridi as well as Younis under pressure, with both likely to lose their jobs sooner than later.
Waqar Younis, a dreaded fast bowler in his playing days, did not mince his words as he called for an overhaul back home.
“We have just lost the match and whatever I say will look like an excuse,” Younis, 44, said at a post-match press conference.
“If we think deeply we will see that Pakistan hasn’t seen any international cricket for last seven-eight years and that has hurt us.
“And that has started showing now. Earlier we had match winners like Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez who could bowl.
“Yes, I would say that Pakistan cricket is in a bit of a decline and we need to control it. We will have to look at our domestic cricket and infrastructure.”
Pakistan finished their campaign with three defeats from four outings, including a loss at the hands of arch foes India in Kolkata.
Their preparations were not helped by their late departure in a row over security and Pakistan have not been able to play a major cricket nation since a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009.
There were flashes of individual brilliance from players like Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Amir during the tournament in India but the team failed to fire as a unit, prompting speculation of a rift in the dressing room.
Younis was quick to dismiss such talk, insisting all was well with his team.
“I don’t think there is any truth in these talks,” he said.
“Even I am a bit surprised and disappointed that such rumours are being spread.
“We are not playing good cricket and that’s the bottom line. And as a result of this we have to face all this.”
On his own job being on the line, Younis said he would call on the Pakistan Cricket Board chief soon “and see what needs to be done.”
NEO Monitoring Report