Sports

LAHORE (Staff Report) – Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shahryar Khan has reacted to the recent press conference of T20 skipper Shahid Afridi, where the T20 skipper said he was reconsidering his decision to announce retirement.

“Shahid Afridi was made captain after the last world cup on the condition that he would announce his retirement,” the PCB chairman told the media on Monday.

Last week, Shahid Afridi told a press conference that he was facing “huge pressure” from family and friends not to retire from international cricket in April at the end of the World T20 in India.

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Afridi, who will turn 36 on March 1, plays only T20 internationals for Pakistan and is now reconsidering his decision to quit the format.

“After the 2015 World Cup, Afridi had announced his intention to retire from international cricket following the World T20, but now it appears he has not made up his mind and still wants to play,” said Mr Shahryar, adding that he (Afridi) should have talked to him first.

The PCB chairman further said that the game and politics should be kept separate.

Last year, Shahid Afridi had announced he will retire from cricket after the T20 World Cup to be held in 2016.

“My wish is to play the World Twenty20 in 2016 and get a happy ending,” said Afridi last year, expressing his will to play in the tournament one last time.

“I never thought I’d be on this level and play cricket for Pakistan team,” he added.

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The 35-year-old all-rounder has represented Pakistan in 78 T20s, scoring at an average of 18.91 with a strike rate of 145.15. He has also bagged 81 wickets.

Afridi was the catalyst in Pakistan’s World T20 triumph in 2009 in England, when he made half-centuries in the semi-final and final. He has played in all five editions of the World T20 and has the most international caps and wickets in the format – 90 and 91.

Afridi’s economy rate of 6.66 is third best in all T20s for bowlers with 200 wickets – only West Indies offspinner Sunil Narine and Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal are ahead of him in the list of 14.

His batting strike rate of 154.61 is second only to Andre Russell among batsmen with 2000-plus T20 runs. Afridi’s T20I captaincy record is mixed with 16 wins and 19 losses in 35 internationals.

In the Pakistan Super League, where he led Peshawar Zalmi, Afridi was the second highest wicket-taker for his team, with ten wickets. He scored only 87 runs in seven innings, though, and Peshawar were eliminated in the third qualifying final by eventual winners Islamabad United.