Slam and dunk: Wasim vs Afridi

Published: September 24, 2011

Akram was critical about Afridi, stating his retirement to be a "joke". PHOTO: AFP / FILE

“Afridi is making things too complicated for the PCB. Cricket is a team game and not an individual sport. You have to treat the interests of the team and the management above your individual preferences.”

These were the words of former fast bowler and batsman Wasim Akram to ESPN  in response to Shahid Afridi’s retirement decision.

It definitely seems as though Afridi is a a little confused. He announced his retirement earlier this year after differences with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on May 30.  He said:

“I won’t play for Pakistan under the current PCB set-up. Self-respect is something I hold in high esteem and this board has done nothing but downgraded me. I’ve had enough of this and took this decision after careful consideration.”

His retirement, however, was conditional. he stated that he would return if the board was replaced. There was news of this issue being settled when he withdrew his petition after an out-of-court arrangement, and the PCB reinstated his No Objection Certificate (NOC), that also allowed him to resume County Cricket.

In between all this, Afridi also expressed his desire to return after head coach Waqar Younis’ period expired with the end of the Zimbabwe tour.

This isn’t the first time he had called it quits. Having been appointed Test captain in 2010, Afridi bowed out after just one match, quoting inability and lack of form to play the said format. He captained Pakistan to the 2011 World Cup semi-final but was replaced by Misbahul Haq.

Afridi seems not only confused but immature as well.

Life does not always present one with a smooth ride – there will always be some problems along the way. I suppose that our dear all-rounder has yet to understand this bitter truth. So, Afridi was mistreated, and he faced some issues; is this a reason enough to abandon your team and country?

Besides, Afridi’s repeated decision to retire, the skipper has also openly spoken about the team’s differences in front of the media. Talk about being disgraceful! As Wasim Akram put it this is a big, fat joke – where the rest of the world will have the last laugh. Afridi led Team Green to the semis in the 2011 Cricket World Cup and gave us a reason to smile amidst the calamities we as a nation are facing. Even that loving concessional speech after the match was heartfelt. However, with his antics he successfully threw away the goodwill that he and the team had earned.

Yet, Akram’s criticism is plagued with the deepest irony. This is because he, himself was involved in a lot of what contributed to the joke that Pakistan cricket is today. I doubt that any one of us can forget the allegations against him regarding the issues with ball tampering and match fixing. Wasim Akram probably just got lucky in 1992, after a brilliant spell against the English batsmen. That is when allegations of him fiddling with the ball surfaced in the English media. No filmed evidence of shady play, however, was ever found and this let things clear out on their own. A much bigger issue was created when match fixing accusations stirred against Akram. A Pakistan high court judge (Malik Mohammad Qayyum) led a series of investigations and reported that:

“This commission feels that all is not well here and that Wasim Akram is not above board. He has not co-operated with this Commission. It is only by giving Wasim Akram the benefit of the doubt after Ata-ur-Rehman changed his testimony in suspicious circumstances that he has not been found guilty of match-fixing. He cannot be said to be above suspicion.”

I personally feel that Wasim Akram very aptly described the whole Afridi retirement fiasco. However, he could have been more diplomatic and tactful. He should have reviewed his own past and realised that before pointing fingers he should consider his own actions.

I beg our heroes to quit throwing mud at each other in public. Can these things not be settled internally? Must the whole world be amused by Pakistani cricket politics? Must we make our cricket scandals a bigger joke than they already are?

Sarah.Fazli

Sarah Fazli

A qualified account with a business degree, I work for the banking sector in Karachi, and am very interested in reading and writing

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Babysitter

    I can baby sit Afridi for free !!!Recommend

  • Fawad

    The corrupted thief rulling our country has appointemet PCB chairman, what you can expect to be good from that chairman except for replacing captains all the time since when Pakistan won the T20 Worlcup under Yousuf captiancy and then it was replaced by PCB chairman IB.

    Afridi needs to be back as he is more agressive captian than Misbah and a well rounder. Where Misbah is not all rounder and play stupid reverse shots that makes him bowled all the time. Afridi will learn lesson from this decision and I expect him to improve his batting skills once he is back with full form.

    Good Luck to Afridi for future endeavors.Recommend

  • Fawad

    Australia has changed 5 captians only since 1992 Worlcup yet. Where PCB has replaced 38 captains. How come you bring stability to Paki cricket. The PCB board is all about politics and to decieved the game winners of Paki cricket team by making wrong decisions all the time as the chairman Ijazz Butt! has no experience in cricket and no personality to represent this corrupt PCB board.Recommend

  • Mir Hassan Ali

    Latest in this series of accusations is Mr. Controversy, Shoaib Akhtar, who in his autiobiography has not only accepted that all bowlers did ball tampering but has accused other players for all sorts of things. All this just to sell his book?Recommend

  • Great Talha

    Pakistan Cricket is Joke & All Cricketers are Jokers.Recommend

  • umar

    he is such a fool i have never seen in my lifeRecommend

  • Zohaib Khan

    The only thing which need a change is PCB.
    The players are badly treated by the board. Wasim Akram would have done the same thing if he had to play under such board.Recommend

  • ed

    @Fawad:
    not 38 only around 16-18 :)Recommend

  • Sadaqat Hussain

    I think Afridi is a man of priciples. he is d only man who standing at front of PCB. Recommend

  • Sarah

    Oh Lord! He’s coming back on condition of new PCB chairmanship :sRecommend

  • abbas

    Shahid Afridi is the best. I hate Misbal…!!Recommend