His timing wasn`t right, Afridi on Akhtar`s retirement

Updated: Apr 01, 2011, 14:08 PM IST

Karachi: Critical of Shoaib Akhtar for announcing his retirement in the middle of the World Cup, Pakistan ODI captain Shahid Afridi today claimed the pacer did not consult the team before making his decision public.

"His timing was not right and he should have properly consulted and spoken to us about his decision. He should have either announced his intention to retire before the start of the tournament or after it, it made no sense to announce his retirement in the middle of the World Cup," Afridi said on arrival here after Pakistan`s 29-run loss to India in the semifinals.

Akhtar announced his retirement from international cricket after the group match against New Zealand and was not given a game after that due to fitness issues.

Afridi also implored his countrymen to stop treating cricket matches with India as war and accept victory and defeat in a sporting manner.

"I don`t understand why this hate aspect when we play India in cricket. Where is this feeling when we watch their movies and dramas in our living rooms and enjoy them? I don`t think there is a need to treat matches with India like a matter of life and death. We need to take cricket as cricket," he told reporters.

Afridi said there was pressure on the players when they saw the build-up and hype to the match with India.

"Treat cricket like a sport," he stressed.

The Pakistan skipper also advised senior players in the side to take a break and allow selectors to try new players on the forthcoming tour to the West Indies later this month.

"It is time for the selectors to look ahead and the I think the coming tour is the best chance for them to give exposure to new players. Already we have uncovered good talent in Asad Shafiq and Wahab Riaz who played brilliantly in the semi final," he noted.

Afridi said he was satisfied with the way the team fought and supported him to reach the semifinals.

"Unfortunately the batting remained a problem in the tournament and our worst fears came true in the semifinal," he said.

PTI