Karachi: Pakistan's flamboyant all-rounder and national T20 captain Shahid Afridi may join the growing band of international cricketers who have opted to retire from other formats to focus only on T20 cricket.
Afridi told reporters at the national stadium that he could quit one-day internationals after the 2015 World Cup to focus only on T20 cricket. "I might do this because the PCB has appointed me captain of the national T20 side until the World T20 in 2016 and I want to focus completely on building a strong team that is capable of winning back the title for Pakistan," Afridi said.
The allrounder who retired from Test cricket in 2010 midway through a series with Australia and England after being named captain for all three formats, said he didn't want to be a burden on the team in any format.
"I quit Test cricket because I was not enjoying it and felt I was not contributing enough as a player. I enjoy playing limited overs cricket but after the World Cup, I can rethink my priorities for ODIs," he said.
Afridi, 34, who has played 381 one-dayers said that T20 cricket was fast and required a lot of focus nowadays. "It is a different brand of game and you have to be at your best and what I like is that is so popular among the masses."
Sources close to Afridi said his decision to quit ODIs after the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand may also be influenced by his growing business commitments, charitable projects and the offers he is getting to play in lucrative foreign T20 leagues.
Afridi's appointment as the national T20 captain has been mostly supported in the cricket circles and even senior batsman Younis Khan said the PCB had taken a wise decision.
"Shahid is a fighter by nature and he knows the art of motivating the team and leading from the front. I would love to see him lift the 2016 World T20," Younis, under whose captaincy Pakistan won the T20 title in 2009, said.
Younis advised both Afridi and the Test and one-day captain, Misbah-ul-Haq to lead from the front and said the players would easily respond to them.
"We can do well in the coming World Cup provided we play as a unit and the captains lead from the front. The event is also a great opportunity for our senior players to leave a big impact on Pakistan cricket," he added.