Afridi needs jolt not just rebuke
Shahid Afridi once a real asset for us has slipped down the ladder which is both very much shocking and awfully alarming. He at his own retired from Test cricket and opted for One Day and T-20 but lately he has not impressed us for reasons known to him or PCB. Years back he started as batsman and undoubtedly he played many marvelous innings and won due laurels and recognition both in Pakistan and overseas alike. People have been waiting impatiently to see him playing wonderful cricket hitting all around the ground with no reference to the bowler or the venue or both. He had won the hearts of everyone to the extent that he turned out to be the most popular batsman to be watched even in India which is our eternal enemy in any case. Then he tried his luck with ball and did succeed in the venture which eventually turned him out to be an all rounder and hence he had earned a permanent place in our squads be it test, one day or T-20.
However, lately he has not come up to our expectations which is very much shocking to be honest and what he did against Australia in UAE playing 3 ODIs series calls for his explanation and he really needs a full dose for letting us down twice. What did he do in 1st match or for that matter in 3rd match is nothing but shame. He himself had been captain so in the 3rd match played yesterday he should have proved to be a sensible player and must have scored reasonably so that the opponents get a tough target to face but he did not reach even in double figures and the result is right before us. He did not prove to be a magician in bowling as well and hence he terribly failed on both counts in both the matches he played. Incidentally he was not medically fit to play in 2nd ODI which Pakistan won proves that his inclusion has proved to be very much detrimental to our interest and if some other player had played in his place our fate would have been changed.
In the given situation either he should not be given any chance to play against mighty Australians and if yet he plays against them then he should sign an undertaking that he will be suitably punished if fails so that he knows the consequences. He can play against Zimbabwe or Bangladesh or New Zealand which are a bit under rated teams but certainly he cannot be fielded against superior teams. Australians have claimed that they will not lose since they have lost against Pakistan in a decade and this is what they have proved. Pakistan pride and prestige cannot and should not be dented by Afridi anymore and I wish PCB takes note of it in the greater interest if the country.
Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait