Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi on Sunday announced his retirement from international cricket, ending an illustrious and sometimes controversial 21-year career. The 36 year old star had already quit Tests in 2010 and ODI cricket after the 2015 World Cup but still skippered the Pakistan Twenty 20 team at the 2016 world championships in India. He stepped down as captain after the tournament although he retained slender hopes of continuing his career in the sport’s shortest format as a player. I have said goodbye to international cricket, said by Afridi after smashing a 28 ball 54 in a Pakistan Super League match for Peshawar Zalmi in Sharjah.
I am playing for my fans and will continue to play this league for another two years but it’s goodbye from international cricket. Now my foundation is important for me. I have played with seriousness and in a professional way for my country. Afridi had been a fan favorite since he burst onto the scene in 1996, striking a 37-ball century against Sri Lanka in only his second match to set a world record that was unbeaten for 17 years. He became known as a bowling all-rounder in the second half of his career and was instrumental in Pakistan’s early successes in Twenty 20, including their 2009 victory.