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"Not the right time for Afridi to retire"

October 12, 2012

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan believes that all-rounder Shahid Afridi still has potential to contribute to the Pakistan cricket team on the field despite a recent dip in his form.

Afridi's abysmal performance at the World Twenty20 during which he scored just 30 runs in five innings and took only four wickets in six matches attracted much criticism from former players and fans, however, Moin thinks Afridi can still play an important role for Pakistan.

“Afridi can still serve the country,” the former wicketkeeper said. “He shouldn’t retire but should take some rest that will help him regain his form.

“I also advise the same to Imran Nazir who struggled in the tournament as well.”

Pakistan's Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez also came to Afridi's defense after the World T20, saying the all-rounder was a match winner and an integral part of the team.

"He is always a hard-worker and I think he is trying to come out of it which is a positive sign for us as a team. So that’s the reason we have given him all the chancesm,” Hafeez said.

Moin also applauded Hafeez's captaincy, adding that Abdul Razzaq's outburst against the captain was natural.

The veteran all-rounder lashed out against Hafeez for dropping him for the semi-final of the World T20 against Sri Lanka. Razzaq said that he was very disappointed after being left out of the playing eleven in the crucial match on Thursday. He was replaced by left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir in the match that Pakistan lost by 16 runs, allowing Sri Lanka to enter the final of the ICC event.

“Razzaq’s comments were not appropriate,” said Moin.  “But he should have played in the World Twenty20. Razzaq’s reaction was natural as he knows he does have some time left in his career. Hafeez showed good signs of captaincy. He should be given more time but he will need to learn from his mistakes.”

Moin criticised coach Dav Whatmore's approach, pointing out that there had hardly been any improvements in the team since the former Australia player took over.