Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was expected to make a major announcement after his team's campaign in the ICC World T20 came to an end.
He did end up making the announcement. However, instead of announcing his retirement from international cricket as he had hinted before the marquee T20 event, Afridi stated that he would continue to play T20Is for Pakistan, although he would step down from the role of the captain.
The 36-year-old Pakistan all-rounder, a veteran of 398 ODIs and 98 T20Is, had announced in April last year that he would retire after the sixth edition of ICC's premier T20I tournament. However, in February this year, he further confused fans and experts by saying that he was reconsidering his decision to retire.
Facing criticism for Pakistan's dismal show in the ICC World Twenty20, Shahid Afridi today stepped down as captain of the team but will continue to play in the shortest format of the game. The Afridi-led Pakistan failed make it to the semifinals
of the World Twenty20 in India, where his comments also drew the ire of former players.
The 36-year-old all-rounder and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had hinted that World T20 could well be be his last as skipper.
"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," Afridi said in a statement, released on his Twitter account.
His announcement was met by a flurry of responses on the microblogging website. While there were some who praised Afridi for his decision to continue serving Pakistani cricket, there were those who ridiculed him for failing to make up his mind for good, and making constant u-turns when it came to his career.
Check out some of the best tweets from Sunday evening, starting with the responses from his team-mates and some statisticians:
Good decision from ur side @SAfridiOfficial 🏿.
— Ahmad Shahzad (@iamAhmadshahzad) April 3, 2016
Shahid Afridi's final team sheet as captain of Pakistan.... pic.twitter.com/gfMOyP3WE5
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) April 3, 2016
— Nikhil (@CricCrazyNIKS) April 3, 2016
Cricket will retire but Afridi will not.
— Pakchikpak Raja Babu (@HaramiParindey) March 25, 2016
Shahid Afridi has stood down as captain of Pakistan's T20 team. He'll change his mind on that decision within the next three months.
— Adam White (@White_Adam) April 3, 2016
Shahid Afridi steps down as captain and retired his thought of retiring from the team.......... yet again!
— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) April 3, 2016
My heart-felt commiserations to all those who had written their tribute articles for @SAfridiOfficial, ready to be published. What a man!
— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) April 3, 2016
Don't think expected news qualifies as breaking news.
— Rehan Ulhaq (@Rehan_ulhaq) April 3, 2016
The year is 2066.
Iphone 20 is released.
I live in my home with my children & grand children.
And Afridi is again selected as Captain.
— Basit (@BasitSpeaks) April 3, 2016
Shahid Afridi holding on to cricket pic.twitter.com/iR4rPuIvGO
— Divya (@JadduJhappi) April 3, 2016
Well, now that Afridi is back in action, let us wish him all the very best for the one-off T20I against England that is to take place in September this year.
First Published On : Apr 3, 2016 17:45 IST