International Cricket

Pakistani all-rounder Afridi retires from international cricket

Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi has confirmed he was retiring from all international cricket, saying he was dejected after being replaced as one-day captain following a fiery clash with coach Waqar Younis.

The 31-year-old developed differences with Waqar during the team’s 3-2 win against the West Indies earlier this month and his public criticism of the coach ultimately led to him losing the captaincy.

“Yes, I am now retired from all international cricket,” Afridi said, from London. “I am dejected and hurt and whatever I said about the coach it was in the best interest of the team.”

Afridi, who took over as Test and one-day captain last year, abruptly retired from the longer version of the game after a heavy defeat against Australia at Lord’s in July 2010.

He then led Pakistan to two one-day series defeats against England and South Africa before winning a 50-over series in New Zealand and guiding the team to the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup where they lost to eventual champions India.

Afridi lashed out at Waqar on his return from the West Indies.

“Everyone should do his job and should be accountable for his work,” said Afridi, reportedly irked at Waqar’s interference in team selection.

When asked about his reported differences with the coach, Afridi replied: “The differences are not at a stage where they cannot be resolved.”

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took heed of the public criticism and served a show cause notice to Afridi before announcing that Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq would lead the team in two one-day matches against Ireland.

Pakistan won the series 2-0 under Misbah, beating Ireland by five wickets on Monday.

Afridi said he was roughly treated by the PCB.

“I play for my country and for my people,” he said. “I led the team to the semi-final of the World Cup but the reward was such that I was not sure about my captaincy.

“There is nothing bigger than a man’s respect, and the way the board has treated me, there is a limit to everything.

“I will not play under this board. If a different board comes in, I will definitely return but I cannot play under this board. When you have been humiliated like this, by dishonourable people, what is the point in playing on?

“The way I’ve been treated … the future doesn’t look too good. I can’t play under a board that doesn’t respect its players. Because of this, under protest, this is a conditional retirement.

“I wasn’t told anything when I was made captain, I wasn’t given a tenure, I wasn’t told what my squad would be, nothing. I took a broken team along with me.

“Maybe I have become a thorn in their throats. Its better that I step aside as I have respect for myself.”

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