Karachi: Dashing Pakistan opener Imran Nazir has advised all-rounder Shahid Afridi to take a break from international cricket to recover his confidence and form.
"There is no doubt that Shahid bhai is going through a bad patch and his luck is also not good. I have not seen such a long bad patch for any player," Nazir said.
Afridi was recently dropped by the national selectors for the one-day series in India. They were hopes that if he performed well in the two T20 matches he would be retained for the one-day series as well but after a sluggish performance in both games he returned home luckless on Saturday. The former Pakistan captain has been going through a rough patch in batting and bowling in recent months and the biggest debate in Pakistani cricket circles is now about his future as an international player.
Nazir has advised all-rounder Afridi to take a break from international cricket to recover his confidence and form.
"I have no doubt that Shahid bhai can still play for a couple of years but right now I would say he needs to take a break," Nazir, himself dropped from the national team after the T20 World Cup, said.
"I think he is taking too much pressure on himself and it is not helping his confidence. He should take a break from the game, work on his basics and come back fresh for a new stint. I think Pakistan definitely needs him but not in this form. His energy and enthusiasm is important for the team and he needs to get it back," Nazir said.
Pakistan's experienced all-rounder Abdul Razzaq also backed Afridi, insisting that he should have been retained for the one-day series. Razzaq, who was also dropped for the T20 and ODI series against India, said that Afridi's experience was still invaluable to the team and he needed to be given some confidence.
Meanwhile, Afridi got into a argument with a journalist at the airport on returning from India after taking part in the T20 International series.
Afridi lost his cool when a television reporter asked him a somewhat stinging question: "Aap nay chaka lagaya aur phir thos hogaya (you hit a six and than deflated)."
The former Pakistani captain reacted angrily and said that the journalist needed to be careful with his questions.
"Aap ko apni umar ka khyal karma chaiya aur is kisim kay sawaal nahi karnay chaiya. (You should think of your age and should not have asked this kind of questions.) Aap ko kya pata T20 cricket ka ab zamana badal gaya hai ussi tara khelna parta hai. (What do you know about T20 cricket, we have to play like that only)," retorted Afridi.
The all-rounder, who was not retained for the ODI series against India came out of the airport terminal building in a hurry and asked the reporters to ask their questions quickly. As Afridi got into the argument with the reporter, television channels showed a somewhat bemused Sohail Tanvir standing behind him and looking on.