Pak­istan not pro­duc­ing qual­ity crick­eters: Afridi

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

ISLAMABAD—For­mer Twenty20 skip­per Shahid Afridi feels that Pak­istan is not pro­duc­ing fine crick­eters as dur­ing the past few years the fo­cus has been mainly on quan­tity and not qual­ity.

“In­stead of go­ing af­ter quan­tity, we should con­cen­trate on qual­ity to meet in­ter­na­tional stan­dards,” he said while talk­ing to a pri­vate news chan­nel. Afridi, who re­signed from captaincy af­ter the team’s poor show in this year’s World T20, said now we can see a lot of first class crick­eters whereas in our times play­ing in first­class cricket was more dif­fi­cult than to play for Pak­istan. “Grant­ing of caps to such a large num­ber of crick­eters has run counter to the ef­forts to pro­duce qual­ity play­ers,” he said.

Afridi said “now our team is not the one it used to be at the time of play­ers like Im­ran Khan. “Back then there were sev­eral stars but now we just see two to three stars,” he said.

He said first there used to be school, district, col­lege and uni­ver­sity cricket but now it is not seen. “We should look for those places in the coun­try where we used to get tal­ented crick­eters in the past,” he pointed out. He said the cur­rent cricket is go­ing too fast and now we should get out of the 90s cricket.

Re­spond­ing to a ques­tion, the all-rounder said he is grate­ful to God that he has got so much re­spect and fame. “Giv­ing or not giv­ing re­spect is all in God’s hand and I am very thank­ful to him,” he said.

Afridi, 36, said it was a dream for him to play for Pak­istan and then Pak­istan win­ning the 2009 World T20 was also a very big achieve­ment for him.

Afridi, who for a long time held the record for the fastest ODI cen­tury in 37 de­liv­er­ies, said he has no plans to go into pol­i­tics or coach­ing. “My aim is to set up as many academies for the young­ster­sas pos­si­ble,” he said.

Afridi said he and the play­ers got huge amount of sup­port in In­dia in the World T20. Speak­ing about his “more loved in In­dia than Pak­istan” state­ment, Afridi said his state­ment was for the ed­u­cated peo­ple but some ex play­ers made it an is­sue.—APP

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