LAHORE: Pakistan’s T20 captain Shahid Afridi said yesterday that the team’s senior cricketers should be given dignified farewells, after veteran batsman Younus Khan was unceremoniously axed from the one-day squad.
An incensed Younus lashed out at selectors last week for not including him in their plans for next month’s series against Australia, a decision he learnt about only when the squad was announced in the media.
The 36-year-old Test star, who has a history of making outspoken announcements, offered to step aside from all cricket for five months.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued a show cause notice asking Younus to explain his outburst. But 34-year-old Afridi, who has already retired from Tests, backed his colleague.
“I request the PCB chairman to talk to Younus and make a plan for the future,” he told reporters. “I think all the seniors should be given a respectful way to retire.”
Former Pakistan greats like Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad and Muhammed Yousuf were forced into humiliating exits despite years of service.
On the subject of the upcoming series, recently reappointed captain Afridi admitted his team would be missing the services of spinner Saeed Ajmal, who was suspended earlier this month after being tested with an illegal bowling action.
“We will definitely miss Ajmal,” said Afridi of the ace spinner.
“But I am hopeful that Ajmal will alter his action and will be seen in action soon,” he added.
Pakistan and Australia play a one-off T20 in Dubai on October 5 followed by three ODIs and two Tests.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2014.
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