Lala Retires Yet Again
After showcasing a Sharjah special, Shahid Afridi bowed out of the International Cricket on February 20, 2017. The 36-year-old allrounder announced his retirement after an illustrious 21-year-long career. He made the declaration after the Pakistan Super League (PSL) game between his team Peshawar Zalmi and Karachi Kings, wherein he scored a signature 54 runs off only 28 balls.
However, this isn’t the first occasion where Afridi has resigned or considered retirement. On April 12, 2006, Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from the most extensive format of the game to focus more on the shorter formats. It took him only two weeks to be influenced to rethink his choice by then Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan and he withdrew his retirement on 27th April 2006. After being made captain of International Test squad and having played only one Test match in 2010, he finally said farewell to Test cricket.
After losing to India in the semifinal of World Cup 2011, PCB sacked Shahid as the captain of ODI squad after his alleged tussle with Pakistan Cricket Team’s head coach Waqar Younis. In response Afridi resigned from International cricket in May and took to courts against the PCB. However, within five months Afridi was back in Pakistan colours in a series against Sri Lanka.
In 2014, Afridi declared that he will resign from the 50-over format after the 201s5 World Cup. He followed up on his retirement promise this time around.
For T20 Internationals, Shahid Afridi made it clear that he’ll bid adieu after the T20 World Cup, 2016. One week before the inauguration of the main event, Afridi was back at it; he announced that he’ll reconsider his decision about retiring.
Now knowing Shahid Afridi’s obsession with comebacks, do you think he’ll surprise the nation by taking back his retirement? I wouldn’t risk my money on this.
One thing is for sure, there will never be another Afridi.