Pakistan’s iconic former captain Imran Khan is not sure whether Shahid Afridi has the ability to pull through a team in shambles but conceded that if there is anyone capable of achieving something extraordinary, it is the swashbuckling current skipper.
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“I am not sure whether Afridi is the right person. Having said that I would like to add that if there’s someone who can do it, it is Afridi,” Imran told mediapersons during a promotional event organised for next year’s World Cup in the sub-continent.
Talking about Afridi, Imran said, “He is one player who can pull off something out of the ordinary. If he can hit a purple patch, it does give Pakistan a chance. But then Pakistan are one of the most unpredictable sides in world cricket.”
However Imran feels that a lot will depend on what will be ICC’s stand on tainted Pakistan’s new-ball duo of Mohammed Amir and Mohammed Asif -- both of whom have been suspended for alleged involvement in a spot-fixing scandal.
“They (Amir and Asif) are the best new-ball pair in the world. Amir, I can tell you is more talented than what Wasim Akram was at his age. I have seen Wasim as an 18-year-old and can vouch that Amir is far better than Wasim at this age. But then some people get better and mature quickly, some take more time.”
Imran admitted that Pakistan cricket is in shambles.
“Pakistan cricket is in crisis and so is the country. You have the president who is the chief patron of the cricket board. The less I talk about him, the better it is,” he said.
When asked whether he will take charge of the Pakistan cricket, an emphatic “No” was the answer.
“Cricket is a chapter I have closed some 19 years back. I am ready to talk about cricket but I can’t go back to the field. Before trying to get rid of the fixers, I have the duty to fix my own country,” he said with a wry smile.