Afridi announces retirement from international cricket

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Shahid Afridi last played for Pakistan in 2016 © Getty

Shahid Afridi, Pakistan all-rounder, on Sunday (February 19) announced his retirement from international cricket. The 36-year old player had already quit Test cricket (in 2010) and One-Day Internationals (after 2015 World Cup), but went on to lead the side in Twenty20 Internationals.

The announcement came soon after the Pakistan Super League match between Peshawar Zulmi and Karachi Kings, in which Afridi blasted a brilliant 28-ball 54. “I have said goodbye to international cricket,” Afridi said in Sharjah. “I am playing for my fans and will continue to play this league for another two years but it’s goodbye from international cricket.

“Now my foundation is important for me. I have played with seriousness and in a professional way for my country.”

Afridi last played for Pakistan in March 2016, when Pakistan crashed out of the ICC World T20 2016 in the group stage. Having made his debut in 1996, Afridi has amassed 10,645 runs and picked up 540 wickets in 523 international matches, finishing as one of Pakistan cricket’s most successful players. The only oyther all-rounder to have a double of 10000 runs aand 500 wickets is Jacques Kallis.

After having announced himself to the world, with a record-breaking 37-ball century, which remained a record for nearly 18 years, Afridi went on to develop into a bowler who could bat. His exploits with the bat were far and few, with reckless shots often accounting for his wicket, but he did go on to notch up 11 international tons.

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