Karachi: The Pakistan team management and some players of the national team have said that former captain Shahid Afridi should retire from international cricket as he is `finished` and has `nothing left to offer anymore`. Afridi was handed an Rs. 360,000 monthly contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) despite being overlooked for the ICC Champions Trophy that takes place in England and Wales next month.
The surprise inclusion in category A for the central contracts list seemed to have handed the all-rounder some hope of extending his playing days but if the decision was left to the team management, Afridi`s career would be over.
According to a member of the team management, although Afridi has played some great innings and bowled incredibly in the past, but he does not have anything left to offer anymore, adding that the player should now consider retiring from the game.
The member further said that Afridi has been selected only on the basis of his bowling for the last year or so, but he has failed to pick up wickets or stop the flow of runs for which he is of no use to the team anymore.
Further damning Afridi, who has taken just four wickets in the last 12 ODIs and seven T20 wickets in the last 12 months, a member of the national squad said that a player, even though he is experienced and knowledgeable, needed to perform consistently and not just ride on history to be in the playing XI.
The player further said that although Afridi has rescued the team on various occasions and is always at the front with advice but his recent dip in form has put extra pressure on others around him to make up for his lack of contribution.
Despite no immediate replacement in sight, the selectors and the team management are content with altering the playing XI instead of `accommodating an under performing Afridi` just because of his numbers.
Although Afridi`s return can never be ruled out but in the interest of Pakistan cricket and its future, it is necessary to look beyond Afridi and he needs to look beyond international cricket.
Afridi was dropped for the One-Day International (ODI) leg of the tour of India end of last year before making a comeback for the five-match series in South Africa where he failed to pick up a single wicket in 37 overs.