ISLAMABAD: Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Wednesday blamed one-day cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq for his exclusion from the side for the Champions Trophy, and has vowed to make a comeback to the national team.
“The decision to drop me from the side is taken by the captain (Misbah-ul-Haq),” the 33-year-old Afridi told an Urdu language newspaper on Wednesday.
“It isn’t a big thing if the captain does not want a player but in cricket, being in and out is a one-off thing. It happens and I will soon come back.”
“I am still better than most. I know I have ample cricket left in me and I can represent Pakistan for the next few years. Players usually get dropped but I appeal to my fans to pray for me,” he said.
In announcing the squad earlier this week, selectors said Afridi, who has scored 7,201 and taken 348 wickets in ODIs, was left out due to recent poor form in one-day internationals.
Afridi has scored only 161 runs at an average of 17.88 and taken just four wickets at an astonishing cost of 113.75 runs each in the last 12 ODIs. But Afridi refused to go into his recent statistics.
The flamboyant allrounder now plans to prepare for a Twenty20 tournament in England in July where he will represent English county Hampshire.
“I have received lots of text messages from my fans and I am thankful to all of them,” he said.
Afridi refused to accept that his exclusion from the Champions Trophy squad spelt the end of his career.
“I know I have to work very hard to return to Pakistan team,” he said. “I want to make it clear I don’t want to be burden on the team. I want to represent Pakistan on performance and fitness.
“The day I believed I am burden on the team I will quit myself.”