Home > News >

Former cricketers speak out on Shahid Afridi axe

Former cricketers speak out on Shahid Afridi axe

Shahid Afridi has endured a dreadful run of form, scoring just 85 runs in his last 10 ODI innings © AFP

Karachi: Dec 12, 2012
 
There was a time when Shahid Afridi‘s name would have been the first on Pakistan‘s one-day international team sheet, but the all-rounder’s future looks uncertain after he was dropped for this month’s series against arch-rivals India.
 
The 32-year-old has endured a dreadful run of form, scoring just 85 runs in his last 10 ODI innings, prompting selectors to axe him from the 15-man squad for the three-game series starting later this month.
 
While Afridi has retained his spot for the two Twenty20 matches, the warning bells are ringing for the man whose dismissal has often emptied the stands in the past.
 
In his 349 ODIs Afridi has taken 348 wickets and scored 7,075 runs — at an electric strike rate of nearly 114 runs per 100 balls — but he has not scored a half-century in his last 10 innings, a slump former England great Geoffrey Boycott has called embarrassing.
 
“Pakistan have lost out with his batting deteriorating so badly,” Boycott told the ESPN Cricinfo website recently.
 
“In the early days when he was playing and batting well, he tended to believe his own publicity. People wanted him to hit big sixes, everybody was raving for him, and he kept trying to oblige.”
 
But former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif insisted Afridi, Pakistan’s third most-capped one-day player of all time, could still make a comeback.
 
“Afridi is facing tough times. Even a player like Ricky Ponting had to quit after he failed to score big,” said Latif of the former Australian captain who retired earlier this month.
 
“But Pakistan is different in the way that a player can stage a comeback after a good performance and Afridi can still do so.”
 
Another former captain, Moin Khan, described Afridi’s axing as unjust.
 
“Afridi is an impact player,” said Khan. “He holds a psychological dominance over India so he should have been included.”
 
But on the street, ordinary fans are fast losing patience with their one-time hero.
 
“It’s time to move on,” said Athar Khan, a student in Karachi. “Afridi’s form has not been up to the mark and it is common that every rise has a fall, he rose to fame and now he is losing it.”
 
Afridi burst onto the international stage in 1996 when aged just 16 he smashed a 37-ball century — still an ODI record — against Sri Lanka in only his second match, and his explosive batting style earned him the nickname “Boom Boom”.
 
The shortest form of the game brought more fame for Afridi as he starred in Pakistan’s World Twenty20 triumph in England in 2009, helping the team with both bat and ball.
 
The performance elevated him to the captaincy the following year and he led Pakistan to the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup but differences with coach Waqar Younis and then Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt almost ended his career prematurely.
 
His form suffered and at this year’s T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September-October he was a shadow of the player he once was, scratching and groping for runs where once he smashed the ball to all corners.
 
Afridi admitted he was not up to expectations but vowed to fight on.
 
“I am disappointed at not being able to live up to the expectations but every cricketer goes through such a time. I am not one to run away from challenges as I am a fighter and I will come back,” Afridi said in October.
 
Despite all the disappointments and frustrations of the past few years, there are still some in Pakistan who believe — or at least hope — he can manage one last stand.

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Shaun Udal on India vs England 3rd Test

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 2 at Southampton: England reach 355/3 at lunch

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Pankaj Singh and other Test cricketers from Rajasthan

Pankaj Singh rewarded with India cap for years of consistency at domestic level

Mike Griffith: My choice of Mike Gatting as President of MCC was all about timing

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: England in control at Lunch

Rohit Sharma takes maiden Test wicket; dismisses Gary Ballance in third Test between India and England at Southampton

Ian Bell and Gary Ballance get century partnership against India on Day 2 of third Test at Southampton

Ian Bell scores 42nd Test half-century in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: England in command on Day 2

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Alastair Cook’s innings could be a turning point for England’s fortunes

Michael Holding’s take on Ishant Sharma bowling from Pavilion End — problems with expert opinions

India vs England 2014 3rd Test at Southampton stats highlights: Day 1

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Gary Ballance fills in the void left by Jonathan Trott

12 little-known facts about Garry Sobers

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Diet Tip #27 — Have orange juice for increase in hemoglobin

Ian Bell and Gary Ballance get century partnership against India on Day 2 of third Test at Southampton

Healthy recipe: Organic almond and broccoli soup

Salman Khan plans a grand Eid party, will Shah Rukh Khan be invited?

How people feel sharing their life events on social media

Ian Bell scores 42nd Test half-century in 3rd Test against India at Southampton

Apple iPhone 6 launch order could trigger a 10 percent price hike by other OEMs

After Raai Laxmi, Janani Iyer changes her name to Janani

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here