Waqar Younis laments Afridi retirement

Updated: 02 June 2011 14:58 IST

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis said on Thursday he was "disappointed" by Shahid Afridi's decision to retire from internationals and played down a reported rift with his former captain.

Waqar Younis laments Afridi retirement

Lahore:

Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis said on Thursday he was "disappointed" by Shahid Afridi's decision to retire from internationals and played down a reported rift with his former captain.


Afridi quit international cricket on Monday, saying he was dejected after being replaced as one-day captain following a fiery clash with Waqar.

Last month the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) replaced Afridi as captain with Misbah-ul-Haq, following his criticism of Waqar's role in team selection during a recent tour of the West Indies.

"I am disappointed at his decision to retire," Waqar, 40, told reporters on team's return from Ireland. "I don't want to make much comments before meeting PCB officials."

When asked about the reported breakdown in his relationship with Afridi -- known as "Boom Boom" for his big-hitting style - Waqar said he had only heard of the rift through the media.

"There are no personal differences, we all play for Pakistan and I have only come to know about my differences with Afridi through media and will not comment on them until I know what Afridi has said," he said.

The PCB said it has summoned Waqar, who was due to travel to Australia to visit his ailing wife, to discuss the manager's report on the West Indies tour, including details of the reported dispute with Afridi.

Waqar added that appointing a new captain was not his prerogative.

"It's not in my hand to appoint captain of the team," said a visibly upset Pakistan coach. "PCB chairman (Ijaz Butt) appoints captain so you better ask him why the change was made."

Meanwhile, Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik has vowed to persuade the hugely popular Afridi to reconsider his decision.

"I will do whatever I can to resolve this issue, as I am equally a fan of Afridi," Malik tweeted on Thursday.

Malik played a key role in Zulqarnain Haider's return to Pakistan in April this year, after the former wicket-keeper fled the team hotel in Dubai for London following death threats to fix a one-day match.

Afridi said his decision to retire was final, as he would not play under the current PCB, headed by chairman Ijaz Butt, but hinted at a comeback if there was a change in leadership.

The PCB suspended his central contract on Tuesday and revoked all no-objection certificates (NOCs) for the player, meaning Afridi will not be officially permitted to play overseas.

Afridi, who still holds the record for the fastest one-day hundred, scored off 37-balls against Sri Lanka at Nairobi in 1997, led his side to the semi-finals of this year's World Cup.

The burly all-rounder scored 6,695 in 325 one-dayers and took 315 wickets as a leg-spinner. He has a tally of 1,716 runs and 48 wickets in 27 Tests.

He also holds the record of hitting most sixes in all one-day cricket with 289.



Topics : Cricket New Zealand Pakistan Shahid Afridi Waqar Younis
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