Afridi ponders ODI future


Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi Wednesday promised to review his one-day future after Pakistan’s series loss to Sri Lanka, saying youngsters needed to be inducted with the 2015 World Cup in mind. Afridi, 32, managed just 28 runs in four innings and his three wickets were taken at an expensive average of 48.66 as Pakistan slumped to a 3-1 defeat with one match abandoned due to rain in the series, which ended on Monday.
“Our performance was not as such as we were expecting,” Afridi told AFP. “Now I want to consult my elders and then decide on my one-day future. I will have to sincerely review where I stand as far as my performance is concerned.” Afridi, who holds the record of smashing the fastest one-day hundred — off 37 balls against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 1996 — has not been on the best of form with the bat and has not bowled to the standard he set as a leg-spinner.
He has played 347 one day internationals for Pakistan, scoring 7,068 runs and taking 347 wickets. But he managed just three wickets in Pakistan’s 4-1 defeat against England in February this year. He said Pakistan needs to build a strong team for the 2015 World Cup, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. “I will make a decision soon but I have yet to decide on retirement. I will continue playing Twenty20 cricket if I leave one-day. I want to leave the stage for youngsters so that Pakistan can have a good team by 2015,” said Afridi, who retired from Test cricket in 2010. Highlighting Pakistan’s fielding as one reason for the loss to Sri Lanka, he said: “Sri Lanka used their conditions very well and they are a strong team in their conditions, so they fared better than us. “We lost mainly because of poor fielding. This has been our weakness ever since I started playing cricket, so we need to overcome that problem.”
Afridi had an eventful last year, guiding Pakistan to the World Cup semi-final before falling out with then Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt after being removed as one-day captain. In protest he announced retirement from all cricket but rescinded his decision after Butt was replaced by Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman in October.