On Shahid Afridi’s return to Pakistan after the tour of South Africa, the former skipper had lashed out at Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar, who were appearing on a private news channel as cricket experts during Pakistan’s home series and their return tour to South Africa.
Afridi had termed the experts on the media as ‘Heckle and Jeckle’ and ‘Mr. Bean’. The veteran all-rounder also blamed the media for bringing on the players whose discipline was questionable during their cricketing careers.
Former paceman, Shoaib Akhtar, in reply to the comments made by Afridi said that he was astounded that he [Afridi] has not grown up yet.
“The maturity with which Afridi has batted in 350 ODI’s is the same as he talks to the media. Maturity is still lacking in Shahid Afridi.”
Misbah-ul-Haq was heavily criticized by Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yousuf for his non-aggressive approach but the fastest bowler illustrated Misbah as an ‘educated person’ and praised him for accepting the criticism.
“The difference between a literate and an ill-literate is the way he responds to the media,” said Shoaib.
Misbah was interviewed by the PCB chairman on his political talk show, Aapas ki Baat and when he was told that he was relentlessly criticized by Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yousaf, the skipper replied that “I respect both these players and their opinions plus they are legends of the game.”
Shoaib also bashed out at Afridi’s performance and said that the all-rounder himself was confused about his abilities. “He should look at his performance. One day he justifies that he is not a batsman. Other day, he says that he is not a bowler. He should remember that he is representing Pakistan not Karachi Gymkhana. I have talked about his performances on the field. It is not possible that I will back him even he does not perform.”
The former pacer also maintained that Afridi has a misconception that media plays a vital role in the selection. It is the performance which speaks.
“I never got left out of the team due to the media. Either my injuries or my bad performance took me out of the side. Afridi is mistaken that media has a role in team selection. I don’t know where he gets this paranoia.”
“In 360 ODI’s you have 360 wickets. You take one wicket per match, you have a batting and bowling average of 22 and 36 respectively, so what’s the big deal,” Akhtar added.
When asked about the ill-discipline which Afridi had pointed towards on his return from South Africa, Akhtar asserted that he knows a lot about Afridi and he won’t get personal.
“All of us know him. We won’t get personal. My caliber is not to hit somebody personally. I don’t believe in it. “I can write an entire book. I know who has bargained, damaged and who has sold Pakistan,” he added.
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