KARACHI, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Pakistan’s experienced all-rounder Shahid Afridi has announced his retirement from one-day internationals after next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Afridi told a news conference on Sunday that after the World Cup, which starts on Feb. 14, he will focus on T20 matches leading up to the T20 World Cup in India in 2016.
Afridi has been named captain of the national T20 side by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“I am the first Pakistan player to be able to announce his retirement properly and on a high. I always wanted to do this having seen the problems faced by other bigger players in the past,” he said.
“I have informed the Pakistan team management about my decision but not the cricket board as yet. I want to go out of ODIs with self-respect and with my fans wanting more from me,” he added.
Afridi, 34, has played 389 one-day internationals plus 27 tests and 77 T20 matches for Pakistan.
He held the ODI record for the fastest century, set in 1996 against Sri Lanka, until New Zealand’s Corey Anderson bettered it this year.
Afridi who is close to completing 400 wickets and 8000 runs in ODIs, having taken 391 wickets and scored 7870 runs so far, said he was hopeful he will be able to reach this landmark in the World Cup.
“Having taken a decision it is a big burden off my mind and I am confident I will be able to focus on giving my best in the World Cup,” said the colourful all-rounder.
Known for his run-ins with the establishment and his outspoken comments on Pakistan cricket, Afridi retired from test matches during the series against Australia in England in 2010.
“It was not an easy decision to take and I think many of my seniors also found it difficult to go out at the right time. But no one is indispensable in cricket and I am sure sooner or later someone will take my place in ODIs as well,” he said. (Editing by Alan Baldwin)