Karachi. Shahid Afridi, who has come out of retirement more number of times than the number of centuries he has scored in his career has decided to do the same one more time to play 2023 world cup. He said, “Insha Allah, Nazre Allah, this will be the final time I will play for Pakistan.”
Our reporter met former Pakistani cricketer Rameez Raja to know his reaction on this. Rameez sid, “Thanks to a cricketer like him, retired people like me remain occupied with some job at least. Many news channels from India and Pakistan call me to discuss about his retirement and come back announcements. I get a chance to write tributes about him as newspaper columnist. Only concern for me is, though there are not many noteworthy performances from him for quite some time now, still I have to keep a track so that I do not miss to mention them in my next tribute for the sake of his countless fans.”
Rameez is also hopeful that his grandson who is preparing hard, might get a chance to play alongside Afridi in 2023 world cup. For Afridi this will be a new record as no one in cricket history has got a chance to play with the grandson of a former teammate.
Though Pakistan news channels are habituated to Afridi’s frequent retirement announcements, still some of them are excited to see their evergreen dashing Pathan making a comeback much like Indian media’s excitement about Rahul Gandhi’s comeback last month.
When we met Shahid Afridi to know the reason behind his ‘another’ comeback. Afridi said “It’s all due to that lad Nehra. Look at him, how nicely he is bowling in IPL. If he can do this match after match against such top sides in IPL, why cannot I do this. I do not want make my come back in a hurry, instead of 2019 world cup, I want to prepare well & make my come back in 2023. Regarding my age, like my fellow team members, I am not sure about my age. I feel like I am 28 now, by 2023 I might be 36 which seems to be a good age for comeback as we can see in Nehra’s case.”
Wasim Akram who has a permanent job with KKR team is not amused with this development, “Guys like Afridi take advantage of the situation. In off season he will take retirement benefit and as soon as big tournament comes he comes back to collect match fee. About his age, when he first came to the Pakistan team we asked about it. He was able to count till eight, so he said his current age was eight. As an eight year old, you cannot play international cricket, so we had to mention his age as sixteen for his debut match though he looked little older than me on that day.”
Wasim told us that people like Afridi need to learn a lot from the likes of Dhoni. “Look at Dhoni, he declared his retirement and immediately updated his Facebook status as retired test cricketer. And you see he got so many likes from cricketers like Wriddhiman Saha, Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv Patel, Syed Kirmani and Kiran more who are still hopeful of making a comeback to the test team,” Akram said.