Karachi: Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi came under fire for his sudden decision to retire from Test cricket after the England debacle with some former players questioning his commitment to the team.
Pakistan’s former Test captains and players, Javed Miandad, Ramiz Raja, Asif Iqbal, Aamir Sohail, Moin Khan and Iqbal Qasim -- all feel Afridi let the team down with his sudden decision.
“I think his act is unpardonable. Afridi has harmed Pakistan cricket and he should be penalised for that. They are several better ways if you want to announce your retirement from Tests. Afridi’s chose the worst way. It will leave bad effects on Pakistani youngsters,” Ramiz told “The News” daily newspaper in London.
Miandad, who is also the director-general in the Pakistan Cricket Board, said he was surprised by the decision.
“I don’t know what is happening, players pick and chose what they want to play. It is not acceptable. I ask the board is this not a violation of the code of conduct to announce such a big decision without taking team management into confidence?” Miandad said.
Asif Iqbal, who is also based in London told the “Ary” news channel that after the developments of the Lord’s Test, the Pakistan Cricket Board should be renamed as the “Pakistan Confused Board.”
He said that Afridi had a right to decide whether he wanted to play Tests or not but he chose the wrong time and way to announce his decision.
“I don’t think there was ever any place in the Test squad for Afridi and in the first place he should not have been considered for the Tests. His decision at this time is not good for Pakistan cricket in the middle of a major tour at all,” Iqbal said.
Aamir Sohail also criticised Afridi for his decision insisting that the allrounder should have been clear in his mind before hand what he wanted to do.
“If today he says he is not match fit or does not have the temperament to play Test matches he should have known about this when he accepted the captaincy. The national team is not the place for experimentations. Afridi has let Pakistan cricket down,” Sohail, a former chief selector, said.
Moin Khan also was critical and noted that Afridi should have told the Board before what he wanted.
“He should have told the board when offered the captaincy that he can’t play Test matches. This is not the right way to go about things,” he said.
Iqbal Qasim said he was totally foxed by the way the board was running cricket affairs.
“I just don’t know what they plan to do. Was the board or selectors not aware that Afridi shouldn’t be playing Test cricket now. Why make him captain for the Test series. Now Pakistan cricket has faced nothing but another embarrassing situation,” the former chief selector said.
“Afridi’s decision is certain to affect team morale,” he added.
Chief selector Mohsin Khan said he was sad and disappointed with Afridi’s decision that has come as a shock to him.
But they are some former players who lauded Afridi for his brave decision including the PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt.
“I think Afridi took a courageous and honest decision. It would have been worst for the team if he had carried on playing without his heart into the job,” Butt said from London.
Former captain, Rashid Latif also said that Afridi was fair in announcing his decision after the first Test.
“He knows now he is not comfortable playing five-day cricket so it is his right to do what he considers is a correct thing. I hope others also follow his example and take honest decision,” he said.