Pakistan cricket can be as frustrating as it can be exciting. On the odd occasion, it can get a little bemusing, particularly when players decide to retire at whim. Shahid Afridi’s latest comments are also on similar lines.
The flamboyant Pakistan all rounder and former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, has made himself available once more to play for Pakistan cricket. The decision comes after months of wrangling between Afridi and the Pakistan Cricket Board in which Afridi announced his conditional retirement, lambasting the then PCB chief, Ijaz Butt, as being old and incompetent. Now with the regime change, Afridi claims he has never really been in retirement per se but biding his time for the change of regime in the Pakistan Cricket Board.
While the Pakistan Cricket Board is yet to take a decision on Afridi, the cricketer himself has gone to record to say that the next time he announces his retirement, there will be no comeback.
Afridi was the Pakistan ODI and Twenty20 captain before rift with the then Pakistan coach, Waqar Younis, saw the all rounder submit his papers and what ensued was a raging battle that Afridi has had to fight through in order to play Twenty20 leagues abroad. However, Afridi cannot be considered the first of Pakistan cricketers to announce retirement only to reverse it later. Yet with Afridi, it has happened even in Test cricket and after playing only one Test in England last year, Afridi had once more stated that the five day game held no appeal for him.
Perhaps only too aware of how many times the retirement issue has come on the table, Afridi has now categorically stated that when he does bring the retirement agenda, there will be no turning back. Although fans of Pakistan cricket would not want to see the back of the all rounder any time soon, the comical-tragic nature of these retirement announcements by Pakistan cricketers could certainly take a break. For the sake of Pakistan cricket, stability would do them no harm, in players and in policy.