Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi will retire from One-Day Internationals after the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. Afridi will continue to play T20s, the format in which he leads Pakistan, and expressed his desire of winning the T20 World Cup in 2016 to be held in India.
Afridi recently led Pakistan in the ODI series against New Zealand as a stand-by for Misbah. After been given the responsibility to captain the side, Afridi performed well and scored 205 runs at a S.R. of 164 and picked up 8 wickets.
Having played 389 ODIs so far, Shahid Afridi or ‘Lala’ as called by his fans, has 7870 runs at a strike-rate of 116.29 and 391 wickets to his name. Given the name Boom Boom, to for his ability to clear boundaries at ease, the Pathan holds the world record for the most number of sixes in international cricket (443).
Afridi took to Twitter to convey to his fans that it is one of the hardest decisions he has taken and he is happy to going on his own terms rather been asked to leave. He also said that with him retiring from ODI side, it opens the door for many talented players.
“I am the first Pakistan player to be able to announce his retirement properly,” Afridi was quoted as saying by Reuters. “I always wanted to do this having seen the problems faced by other bigger players in the past. It was not an easy decision to take and I think many of my seniors also found it difficult to go out at the right time.”
Having played for 18 years now, Afridi will be guiding force for the players in the team as he is one of the most experienced players in the team.
Afridi scored the fastest century in ODIs on his debut in 1996 against Sri Lanka in Nairobi. The record, which stood for 17 years was broken by Corey Anderson of New Zealand on 1st January 2014. Afridi said that him not being able to hold on to that record is his biggest regret.
Though Afridi has earlier retired only to come back to playing cricket, this time he might be serious. As far Lala’s fans are concerned, they would hope he changes his decision.