People criticizing me over dropping Sarfraz are ‘narrow-minded’: Afridi

Karachi: Pakistan T20 Captain Shahid Afridi lashed at the media for severely criticizing him and making it a controversy for dumping in-form wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed in two T20s recently played against host Sri Lanka.

Sarfraz has been in great form both with the gloves and the bat. However, dumping him in two games against World No 1 side Sri Lanka had astonished everyone back home.

Chairman PCB Shaharyar Khan and PCB’s Executive Committee chief Najam Sethi has also questioned and sought explanation from team management and Afridi for dropping Sarfraz, which stirred uproar among Pakistan cricket fans.

“I have learned that people who make analysis and comment on cricket in media are very narrow minded. We rested Sarfraz only to experiment other players,” Afridi told reporters on Wednesday.

But Safraz is vice captain of ODI and T20 side so he should be a part the decision-making elite and therefore must be picked in top matches in order to start building a synergy and more importantly to bring the team leadership at the same wavelength.

“The team is at the moment in building process since we have World T20 Championship ahead of us. So we are taking decisions keeping in mind the mega event and preparing and experimenting for it accordingly,” he added.

However, there is an impression that Afridi has dropped Sarfraz out of jealousy since the player has come up as his top adversary for T20 captaincy.

Moreover, Selection Committee chief Haroon Rasheed has told a news paper that Sarfraz will be given chance to captain the T20 side in international matches leading to the World Cup.

But Afridi said Haroon meant that Sarfraz would be given chance in side matches and groom him as a future skipper.

“Haroon has been misquoted. He said that Sarfraz may be given chance to captain the team in side matches to groom him for future. And I welcome that decision to groom a captain with future of the team in mind,” Afridi said.

The swashbuckling all-rounder also tried to consolidate his stance and said that he never ran after captaincy and captaincy has followed him and there it was not the case of fighting for securing captaincy.

Meanwhile, Afridi also praised all-rounder Anwar Ali, who inspired Pakistan to a thrilling one-wicket triumph against Sri Lanka in the second T20 with an impressive whirlwind inning.

Afridi also praised legendary Wasim Akram for leading fast bowlers’ camp in Karachi and said such programs would certainly help find and groom young bowlers.

Afridi also jested that our former batsmen only want to coach national side, which is a lucrative affair, and were not interested in digging talent as Wasim akram is doing. “So, Wasim Bhai should be lauded for doing a very good and important job.”

Afridi further said that he and his team would make their full effort to prepare and build a strong team for next year’s World T20 Championship.