Afridi steps down after loss
Shahid Afridi will retire from Test cricket after the current series against Australia, which concludes at Headingley.
Last Updated: 16/07/10 6:42pm
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has announced that the second MCC Spirit of Cricket Test match against Australia at Headingley will be his last.
The charismatic all-rounder believes he does not have the temperament to succeed in the longest format of the game - a belief perhaps backed up by his two reckless dismissals during the 150-run first Test defeat to the Aussies at Lord's.
Speaking immediately after the close of play, Afridi announced that the forthcoming Headingley Test would be his last. He then anointed opener Salman Butt, who scored 92 in the second innings, as his obvious successor.
Afridi came out of four years of Test retirement to captain Pakistan on this tour but he told Test Match Special he wants to concentrate on Twenty20 and one-day international cricket.
"I did the wrong thing," he said.
"I think my temperament is not good enough for Test cricket and I am struggling with a side injury. I think maybe the next Test will be my last."
Afridi said he had been reluctant to take on the Test captaincy for the current tour, and that he only accepted the role after the Pakistan Cricket Board asked the 30-year-old to lead a youthful side.
"I was not very keen to play Test cricket. I was focusing on one-day cricket and Twenty20 more," Afridi added.
"The cricket board asked me to do it, to go on and see how I feel.
"I want to be straight. My temperament is not good for this cricket. I think the team needs a proper batsman or a proper bowler so that's why I have made this decision.
"It's very difficult playing Test cricket after four years and playing with the Test temperament.
"I don't have the temperament for Test cricket so I think it is better to leave this cricket."
Despite his shock announcement, Afridi expects to remain skipper of the one-day and Twenty20 teams.
"Definitely, I'm focused on Twenty20 and one-day cricket, I love to play that cricket," he said.
"It's not my decision (to stay as captain). The cricket board will take the decision but I think I will carry on as one-day and Twenty20 cricket."
Afridi's participation in next week's second Test is in doubt after he admitted to suffering from a side injury he picked up during last month's Asia Cup.
"Let's see. We can tell you guys in one or two days," he said.
"In Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup I felt and injury in my side. I'm still struggling with this injury, I can't carry this injury in Test cricket.
"In Test cricket you should be able to play with full fitness for the full five days."
Asked about the all-rounder's decision to step down, Pakistan coach Waqar Younis told Sky Sports 1: "He hasn't played a Test for a long time. He feels he doesn't fit into this and for the best interests of the team he will step down.
"He believes himself he can't (go on) and it's hard to pressure him. He feels it's just not right for him at the moment. He believes in himself but it was just not a match for him here.
"It was tough out there and he couldn't really manage it and that's one big reason for this."
Despite the dramatic U-turn by Afridi, Waqar still hopes he will continue to lead the limited-overs side.
"He will look only to play one-day and T20 cricket now," he added.
"For sure he will come back for that and probably as captain. We really hope he will come back for that."
Waqar also confirmed that Butt is Afridi's natural successor.
He added: "Butt has been announced as vice-captain and he'll probably take over."