Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has come under pressure in recent times, but says he will play and quit on his own terms.
Afridi quit Test cricket in 2010 and has rarely played for his country in the last two years. However he was recalled for Pakistan’s five-match one-day series against South Africa, with the country’s chief selector Iqbal Qasim warning it could be the last chance for the player.
But Afridi pledged to walk away from the game on his own terms.
“I will never give anyone a chance to speak,” Afridi told reporters.
“I will play cricket on my own terms and leave on my own.”
Afridi has been under pressure to perform after being dropped from the one-day team for the India tour in December last year. He was then selected for Twenty20s only.
The dashing batsman, who holds a world record for smashing a 37-ball century in a one-day match against Sri Lanka in 1996, failed to hit a 50 in his last 12 one-day matches and captured only seven wickets.
Afridi, who turns 33 on Friday when Pakistan take on South Africa in the first of two Twenty20 internationals, said he plays for his fans.
“If fans want to see me play, I will play, and if they don’t want me to play then I will leave,” said Afridi, who has a huge following in Pakistan and other countries.
Pakistan will play five one-day internationals against South Africa, the first starting in Bloemfontein on 10 March.
Afridi has so far scored 7,075 runs in 349 one-day matches with 348 wickets – the most in the 15-man one-day squad announced for South Africa. He has 845 runs and 63 wickets in 58 Twenty20 internationals.
Afridi led Pakistan to the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup where they lost to eventual champions India. But he fell out with then chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, Ijaz Butt, resulting in his sacking as captain.