ISLAMABAD: Former Test cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz on Wednesday lashed out at Pakistan T20I captain Shahid Afridi for leaving open his retirement plan from international cricket.
Nawaz said the all-rounder is mistaken if he thinks there is no talent coming through in Pakistan who could replace him. The former test cricketer’s statement came in response to the 35-year-old’s claim that he is facing huge pressure from his family and friends to not retire from international cricket in April at the end of the World T20 in India.
Pakistan’s leading T20I wicket-taker also said that he can play on, and that there is no real talent coming through in Pakistan cricket whose place he is taking.
In the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Afridi was the joint third highest wicket-taker for his team Peshawar Zalmi along with Australia’s Shaun Tait with 10 wickets. He also scored 87 runs in seven innings, and his team was eliminated in the third play-off by eventual winners Islamabad United.
Talking to APP, Nawaz said it is Afridi’s misunderstanding that there is no talent coming through in Pakistan who can replace him. “It is about time that he [Afridi] realised that if he wasn’t made the T20I skipper, then his own place in the team would have been doubtful,” said Sarfraz.
The 67-year-old went on to say that the all-rounder has also done this in the past, when he took retirement from other formats and withdrew his decision after some time.
Responding to a question, Sarfraz said let the World T20 conclude and then he will tell who can replace Afridi. “Afridi has realised that he is not capable of taking the team forward through his performances. He has not been performing with the bat consistently.”
“A player who performs once in a blue moon cannot be trusted. There are numerous players in the squad who can replace him in the future,” he said.
Speaking about the changes in the team, Sarfraz said Ahmed Shahzad should have been included in the Asia Cup and World T20 squad. “Ahmed is far better than Khurram Manzoor and the PCB should have included Ahmed instead of Khalid Latif if they were to make changes,” he said.
The 24-year-old Shehzad has played 10 matches for Quetta Gladiators in PSL and has scored 290 runs with an average of 29.00 and strike-rate of 143.56. Whereas, Latif represented Islamabad United in nine matches and scored 206 runs with an average of 34.33 and a strike-rate of 119.07.
He said the Lahore-born opener has much more international exposure than Khalid and knows how to deal with tough situations.