Injury may send Afridi out of second Test

Karachi: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Friday said that a side strain might stop him from playing even the second Test against Australia at Headingley, after which he desires to retire from the five-day version of the game.

“I picked up the side strain in the Asia Cup and I will see how it goes in the next two or three days if I am not comfortable I will not play the second Test,” Afridi said from London.

If Afridi does not play in the match starting from July 21, vice-captain Salman Butt would be his natural successor to lead the team.

“I think, Salman should captain the Test team because he is the vice-captain,” Afridi added.

Afridi on Friday announced his retirement immediately after his team suffered a humiliating 150-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the first Test in Lord’s.

“I had accepted the Test captaincy in the interest of the nation but now I feel that I am not fit now for Test matches,” he said.

It was Afridi’s first Test appearance since the mid of 2006 and he failed to make any impact.

“I have taken this decision after giving it thought during this match. I don’t think I am ready for Test cricket again. I think it would be better if in my place a specialist batsman or bowler play,” he said.

He also made it clear that he had conveyed his decision to the team management.

“But I will continue to lead the team in the one-dayers and T20 cricket as I still enjoy playing those brands of the sport. So it is not that I am retiring from all cricket. I just don’t want to play Test cricket any more,” Afridi said.

Afridi also said that the board had got in touch with former captains Younis Khan and Muhammad Yousuf and asked them to make themselves available for the Tests against England.

“The team needs these experienced players for the English conditions.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan manager Yawar Saeed said that efforts would still be made to convince Afridi that he should not retire at this stage and play out the full series.

“But if he does not agree then obviously the vice-captain is the automatic choice to lead the team,” he said.



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