‘Retired’ Afridi flops in return to domestic cricket

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2011, 11:39 AM IST

Karachi: Retired Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi has made a disappointing return to the cricket field by scoring just one run and taking one wicket in the Ramazan Twenty20 Corporate Cup Tournament.

Afridi, who was last seen in action in Pakistan during a domestic event in October 2010, played for Habib Bank Limited on Thursday night, the Daily Times reports.

Afridi has only played Twenty20 cricket in England since retiring from international cricket last May in protest against the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to remove him as captain after the West Indies tour.

How popular the former caption remains with the public, despite his conflict with the cricket establishment and his retirement, was visible the moment he walked on to the field.

The crowd cheered and roared ‘Boom Boom Afridi’ as he walked out to field with Pakistan captain Younus Khan, leading the star studded HBL side.

But Afridi was off colour as he managed just one wicket, and got out in the second over aiming for a trademark big shot while opening the innings.

Later, the all-rounder spent time with his fans and obliged them with autographs and photographs before he was safely escorted away to his car.

“There is no doubt that he still is a star attraction and people come just to watch him play,” former Test player and ex-chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed said.