Sunday, July 18, 2010

And Afridi retires...again

Afridi has done it again - from being the Pakistan Test skipper, he has retired from Test cricket after the 1st Test of a 3-Test series.
Today's quote on the cricinfo page happens to be:
"I wasn't good enough"
Shahid Afridi doesn't mince words when announcing his retirement from Tests
And he goes on to drive the point home:

"I took the decision in the best interest of the team and hope a youngster with a Test temperament takes my position. I also feel that there are other players who are not fit for the longer version of the game and my advice to them is to concentrate on the shorter forms."

Anyone unintroduced to Afridi retirements could be forgiven for thoughts like "Phew - this man shows more patience in T20 games than in making career decisions." Probably true, but history shows that this charismatic 'King of T20' takes these retirement calls backed with a sound knowledge that unlike onfield hit-or-block decisions the retirements can be reversed pretty easily, within a very short time, and without asking for referral. Request you to go through some earlier Afridi retirements if you think I am being unnecessarily sarcastic.

That opening quote was pretty blunt for a self-assessment. Having seen Afridi for over a decade now, we can expect that to be a real call, of him calling a spade as he sees it, rather than an excuse to 'leave the battlefield' or 'insult Pak cricket establishment' that some people are accusing him of.

His ex-Pakistan teammate and skipper Moin Khan is relatively moderate. He opines:
"If he was not prepared for Test cricket then he should have thought about this before accepting the captaincy. His decision has come at a wrong time for Pakistan cricket and will complicate issues in the team."

Poor judgement, Moin. Did you truly expect him to have so much 'thought'-fulness alongside a strike rate close to twice that of the next fastest player???

The point is: It can change in the near future - by the 3rd Test, or by the next Test series...or even further down the months, say after the 2011 World Cup.

Why? 'Coz he does not have Test temperament, you see. For most others a career is like one long Test match. To Shahid Afridi, a career probably looks like a series of numerous T20 matches, each dissociated with the other. You never know what the next match throws up!

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