I am willing to play under any captain: Shahid Afridi

Shahid Afridi said he was ready to perform any role assigned to him and insisted that he shared a good relationship with the current skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq Getty Images

Lahore: Nov 2, 2011

Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi was Wednesday given a hearing by the newly appointed PCB chief, Zaka Ashraf, at his Gaddafi Stadium office but there is no clarity on the all-rounders return to the international cricket.

Afridi, who earlier announced his return to the international cricket following the end of Ijaz Butt’s tenure as the PCB chairman, told reporters that he was confident of making a comeback to the national team for the forthcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka and insisted that he still has a lot to deliver.

“I still have a lot to offer to the Pakistan cricket and I am grateful to the Chairman for meeting me and listening to me. I am grateful that he raised my morale a lot,” Afridi said after his meeting with Ashraf.

The flamboyant cricketer, though, admitted that his selection into the squad was up to the national selection committee.

“Muhammad Illyas is the chief selector and it is for him to decide what to do,” Afridi said.

The 31-year-old cricketer added that he was ready to perform any role assigned to him and insisted that he shared a good relationship with the current skipper of the team, Misbah-ul-Haq.

“I just want to play for Pakistan and it is for the board to decide in what capacity I play. I am willing to play under any captain. I have captained the side and now I am willing to accept any role in the team because I just want to play for my country,” Afridi said.

The all-rounder, who had earlier in May decided to quit playing the international cricket in protest against board’s decision to remove him from the captaincy after the West Indies tour, said with the change of guard at the helm he was ready to resume his career.

“At that time I thought it was not right for me to play, so I quit, but now with a new Chairman I want to come back,” he said.

Afridi also backed Ashraf’s suggestion of having separate coaches for batting, bowling and fielding in the team.

“I think it is a very good idea and it really does not matter whether we have foreign or local coaches. But the coaches should be qualified and should have the ability to support and lift the players even if they are not performing and not run them down,” he insisted.

In an apparent dig at former coach, Waqar Younis, with whom his differences are well known, Afridi said, “I don’t know why he resigned as coach but he certainly didn’t look ill to me. He was very robust and healthy as far I know.”

Younis stepped down as the coach of Pakistan team after the Zimbabwe tour, citing personal and health reasons. (PTI)