Shahid Afridi © Getty Images
Shahid Afridi © Getty Images

 

Karachi: Jul 18, 2014

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is concerned about cricket’s future in the country and believes the upcoming talent pool is not convincing enough for long-term survival in the national team. The outspoken Afridi made these observations on a talk show on Geo Super channel when asked whether it was time for Pakistan to start looking at a new and young captain.

“I am worried because leave alone the captaincy debate the talent coming through is not convincing enough. Where is the talent to talk about a new captain?” Afridi asked.

The former Pakistan captain was asked whether he thought that with India also talking about grooming someone to replace captain MS Dhoni, wasn’t it time for Pakistan to start looking for a suitable successor to Misbah-ul-Haq.

“The idea is good but where is the talent to do this. I don’t see anyone. In fact I wonder what happens after the World Cup 2015 when the senior lot is gone,” he added.

Afridi, whose name has been taken number of times as the best person to lead Pakistan in the World Cup, said the cricket board and selectors needed to think about the future. “I don’t know but honestly speaking we have to see what happens after the World Cup when seniors will go.”

Afridi himself is 36 while current captain, Misbah turned 40 last month. Afridi said the board needed to plan for the future and frankly he didn’t think there would be more than three to four junior players in the World Cup squad.

“The dependence is still on senior players but we need to look ahead,” said Afridi. Afridi lamented the fact that not enough talent was coming through. “It saddens me but look at Karachi… how many players have made it from there to the top level in the last few years. There was a time when Karachi was the nursery of Pakistan cricket.”

The all-rounder was also forthright about the new team management comprising head coach Waqar Younis, manager and chief selector Moin Khan, spin bowling consultant Mushtaq Ahmed, batting coach Grant Flower and fielding coach cum trainer Grant Ludon.

“Look if these people work together we will produce good results, if they don’t work well as a unit the results will not be encouraging so it is important these people are on the same wavelength. They have loads of experience between them and can do a lot for Pakistan cricket,” he concluded.