Mirpur: While the stalwarts of the game have retired, Pakistani T20I skipper Shahid Afridi, despite his inconsistency with the bat, continues to march on.
Afridi's plans to continue playing international cricket suffered a major setback when his side was stunned by Bangladesh at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.
Batting first, Pakistan managed to put just 129 runs on board. At one stage, they were wobbling at 28/4, post which Shoaib Malik (41) and Sarfraz Ahmed (58*) resurrected the innings with a fighting 70-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Afridi walked to the crease after Malik was dismissed by Arafat Sunny off the fourth ball of the 17th over. The stage was all set for the Pakistani skipper to unleash his big-hitting skills, but that was not to be, as he holed a full-toss from Al-Amin Hossain straight to Sabbir Rahman at deep midwicket.
It was a pathetic stroke from Afridi, who has been in terrible form with the bat lately.
Despite announcing his decision to retire from international cricket last year after the ICC World Twenty20, speaking to The National, Afridi had said during Pakistan Super League (PSL), “I have come to a point in my life where before I leave this [World Twenty20] is a very big challenge for me."
“I should also take the opportunity to reveal that for a while now there is a lot of pressure from my family, a lot of pressure from my friends including my elders who say there is no need for me to retire from Twenty20. That is a huge pressure.”
But post his poor show in Asia Cup 2016, it remains to be seen whether he will announce retirement from international cricket on moral grounds.
Ideally he should, and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also needs to announce a new skipper for their T20I squad.