Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi today hinted at a possible agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board which could see him make a graceful exit from all international cricket. Afridi told the media here that there was no pressure from him on the Board for any agreement nor any pressure on him from the PCB but noted that players need to retire gracefully.
“I have put no pressure on the Board nor they on me but whatever happens it will be good and set new precedents,” he said.
He said that he had discussed his future with chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq who had given him a plan to think about.
“I have always noted that in Pakistan there is no tradition of players retiring gracefully, even the big names. Every player wants to go out on a high and a I am no different,” he said.
There has been speculation that the Board and selectors might include Afridi in the national T20 squad for the coming series against the West Indies in the UAE and the all-rounder would retire at the end of the series, allowing the PCB to give him a proper farewell in Dubai at the end of this month.
Afridi has already retired from the Test and 50-over formats of international cricket.
The flamboyant all-rounder felt that players who had served their country for long years including himself deserved to be given a proper tribute and send-off.
“Players must exit respectfully since the ones who serve the country with distinction deserve honour. I have had a discussion with Inzi Bhai (Inzamamul Haq) who is an elder to me and we will do what is beneficial to both Pakistan cricket and my own self,” he said.
Afridi stepped down as captain after Pakistan’s poor showing in the Asia Cup and World T20 earlier this year and has since than been ignored by the selectors for the T20 international against England and for the series against the West Indies, raising question marks over his future as a Pakistan player.
Afridi also said that he firmly believed that the PCB was the head of the family and needed to have better communication with the players.
“This would allow players to decide themselves when it is the right time for them to retire gracefully and with dignity.”
He said he wanted to retire after the World T20 on a happy note but the poor performance did not allow this to happen.