Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara believes Shahid Afridi’s stepping away from Pakistan’s T20I captaincy will pose a new challenge for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as they will now have to decide how to fit the all-rounder into the team.
“He (Afridi) would have looked at himself and thought this was the right time to go,” said Sangakkara. “How Pakistan use that, I am not sure. I hate talking about what other countries should do and how they should play their cricket.”
Afridi took to Twitter on Sunday and announced that he is stepping away from captaincy but will continue as a player for the national T20 team.
“Today I wish to inform my fans in Pakistan and all over the world that I am relinquishing the captaincy of the T20 Pakistani team of my own volition,” said Afridi.
“I would also like to inform that InshaAllah I intend to continue to play the game for my country,” he said further, adding that, “For me it was a great honour to lead my country in all three formats of the game.”
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 3, 2016
Meanwhile, Sangakkara thinks that Afridi still has the potential to be a crucial part of the team.
“But the Paksitan management will sit down and think long and hard about how Afridi fits in their future plans,” added Sangakkara. “If he doesn’t, they might not go down the line to pick him … if he does, then he can still be a crucial part of the side.”
Afridi’s decision transpired after disastrous Asia Cup and World T20 campaigns where Pakistan were beaten comprehensively on a number of occasions. The PCB formed a Fact-Finding committee to investigate the reasons of this dismal performance and the performance reports submitted by head coach Waqar Younis and team manager Intikhab Alam deemed Afridi as a ‘non-serious’ and ‘absolutely clueless’ captain respectively.
Kumar Sangakkara was quoted by NDTV