Pak skipper Afridi to bid farewell to Test cricket
London: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Friday announced that he would retire from the Test cricket after his team’s second five-dayer against Australia because he doesn’t consider himself fit for the longer version of the game.
Afridi, who announced his decision after Pakistan’s humiliating 150-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the first Test in Lord’s, also revealed that he made up his mind only after being dismissed cheaply by part-time off-spinner Marcus North in the second innings of the match.
Asked at the post match press conference when he decided to quit the Test cricket, Afridi replied, “When I got out.”
Afridi, who made two runs during Pakistan’s chase of 440, went to slog just the fourth ball he faced and fell prey to North.
“I’ve not been fully fit with a side strain and so I will not play Test cricket after the match in Leeds,” Afridi said.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board asked me to play Test cricket, I wasn’t thinking about it. I did the wrong thing. I think my temperament is not good enough for Test cricket and I am struggling with a side injury. I think maybe the next Test will be my last,” Afridi said after the match.
Afridi also admitted that it was not an ideal shot on his part at that crucial moment of the match.
“The captain should be an example for the youngsters but that was not an example. I was in two minds whether to play my natural game or whether to take my time. You can say I was weak mentally...I’m not good enough for Test cricket,” Afridi said.
The second match starts at Headingley from July 21.
His decision means a new captain will be in place when Pakistan take on England in the four-Test series starting on July 29.
Afridi also said that opening batsman Salman Butt may take over as the captain of Pakistan.
“Salman is showing his maturity. He’s good enough to take over this team as captain.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has already accepted Afridi’s decision.
“He hasn’t played a Test for a long time. He feels he doesn’t fit into this and for the best interests of the team he will step down. He believes himself he can’t (go on) and it’s hard to pressure him,” Waqar told Sky Sports.
“He feels it’s just not right for him at the moment. He believes in himself but it was just not a match for him here. It was tough out there and he couldn’t really manage it and that’s one big reason for this. He will look only to play one-day and T20 cricket now,” he added.
Afridi, who made his debut against Australia in Karachi in 1998, has scored 1,716 runs from 27 Tests.