Amir, coaches’ dispute continuation of tradition: Shahid Afridi

LAHORE: Pakistan’s legendary former all-rounder Shahid Afridi today (Friday) has termed the ongoing differences between fast-bowler Mohammad Amir and bowling coach Waqar Younis as a continuation of a tradition in Pakistan cricket.

The all-rounder, speaking to media personnel at the launching ceremony of the Kashmir Premier League official anthem in Lahore, said that disputes between him and the current bowling coach Waqar Younis were not “hidden”.

“The differences between the coaching staff and Mohammad Amir are a continuation of tradition. My differences with Waqar Younis are well documented. This is not a good tradition,” he added.

Afridi further said that the board has a sort of parental relationship with its cricketers. “Whether it is Mohammad Amir or any other player, the PCB should communicate its plans with them so that they mentally prepare themselves if they are dropped due to any issues,” he added.

He remembered his own differences with Younis while stating that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should talk to Amir and put an end to the matter. “It would be better if the chairman or chief selector talks to the players rather than the coaching staff. A coach should support his players during lean patches,” he added.

The former captain also stressed the importance of veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik in the national side. He commented that the all-rounder should be brought back in the team before the T20 World Cup.

“It is good that they put the blame on coronavirus rather than their usual subject of fitness. They thrust players into Test cricket on the basis of three T20 performances. Talent like that fades away in a few days,” he remarked.

He also said, “You must first prepare a player like Mohammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik and then bring them to the national side. Malik is the spine of the side. With a World Cup coming up, he should have been in the side.”

The two players were dropped by Misbah-ul-Haq, when he was holding the position of chief selector, during the Zimbabwe series that was played last year in October. Misbah had said that Shoaib’s exclusion was a “strategic decision” as they wanted to give players like Abdullah Shafiq, Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah better chances.