Imran, Sohail lash out at Afridi for leaving team in lurch

Karachi: Former captains Imran Khan and Amir Sohail on Saturday lashed out at Shahid Afridi for letting Pakistan down by announcing Test retirement in the midst of a tour in England.

“I think Afridi has further compounded the problems in Pakistan cricket and destabilised the team with his decision. He should have accepted the captaincy as a challenge and played Test cricket,” said Imran from London.

Another Test captain Aamir Sohail felt Afridi has left the team in lurch by announcing Test retirement after captaining the side in the first Test against Australia which Pakistan lost by 150 runs.

“All that he is saying that he is not ready for Test cricket and it does not match his temperament. But he should have known about this before accepting the captaincy. He has let everyone down and he is now trying to cover up his blunder,” Sohail said.

Former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq said that it was most unfortunate that Pakistan cricket found itself in the midst of a crisis on such a important tour and blamed the board for this.

“The board has not handled things well or taken the right decisions. Even now I would urge the PCB chairman to bring back Mohd Yousuf and Younus Khan to the team. They are great players and the team needs them. Past issues should be forgotten in the larger interests of Pakistan cricket. The nation is not ready for anymore defeats now,” Inzamam said.

He, however, supported the decision to appoint Salman Butt as Test captain.

“I think the Board had no other choice at this stage especially with Yousuf and Younus not in the team. Butt is a good choice but he will need a lot of backing and guidance to handle the pressures of captaincy and opener at the same time,” he said.

Sohail expressed fears that Butt may have his career affected if he does not succeed as skipper in the remaining Test matches in England.

“He is a good choice but I am just hoping that pressures of captaincy don’t affect his batting form. The board and team management should now provide him full backing and be patient with him,” Sohail said.

“I don’t want to see a situation where if he struggles and the team does not do well under his captaincy he is also changed or dropped like others before him. It would be most unfortunate for Pakistan cricket,” he added.



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