Shahid Afridi’s retirement advice to Virat Kohli has created ripples in the cricket fraternity. The timing of Afridi’s comment surprised many as Virat Kohli came roaring back to form by becoming the second-highest scorer of Asia Cup 2022. Kohli scored 286 runs in 5 matches at an average of 92 and a strike rate of 147.59. His strike rate and average were far better than the eventual top-scorer of the tournament, Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan, who scored only five runs more than Kohli in 6 matches at an average of 56 and a strike rate of 117. After being widely criticised on social media mainly by the Indian fans, the former Pakistan captain was lambasted by former India spinner Amit Mishra for advising Kohli to quit the game on a high rather than being dropped or questioned.
“Dear Afridi, some people retire only once so please spare Virat Kohli from all this,” tweeted Mishra, who has represented India in 22 Tests, 36 ODIs and 10 T20Is picking up 76, 64, and 16 wickets respectively.
It all started when Afridi said that Virat has a better sense of timing when it comes to other Asia cricketers and will perhaps leave the game at his peak. “The way Virat has played, the start that he had to his career, there was a struggle initially before he made a name for himself. He is a champion and I believe there comes a stage when you are headed towards retirement. But in that scenario, the aim should be to go out on a high,” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
“It shouldn’t reach a stage where you are dropped from the team and instead when you are at your peak. It seldom happens though. Very few players, especially cricketers from Asia Cup make that decision, but I feel when Virat does it, he will do it in style and probably in the same manner in which he started his career,” the former all-rounder added.
Afridi’s comments did not go down too well with the fans who criticised the former all-rounder. Notably, Afridi had retired multiple times in his career. His first Test retirement came in 2006 only to be taken back within a couple of weeks. He again retired from Test cricket in 2010 after captaining Pakistan in one Test against Australia.
Afridi, who captained Pakistan in 2011 World Cup, announced his retirement from all forms of the game after the world event but again took it back on the board’s insistence. He led the side in the 2015 ODI World Cup and then finally decided to quit all forms of the game in 2017.
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