Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Afridi: I told all problems to Younus

Shahid Afridi has said that some players had grievances against Younus and he himself acted as a bridge to resolve the matter.

After Pakistan Cricket Board rejected Younus' resignation and retained him as captain till 2011 World Cup, there were reports that one of the reasons for his shunning the job was attitude of some players including Afridi.

"Some guys in the team have problems with Younus Khan and as they are hesitant to talk to him directly they approached me to convey their problems to him," Afridi said without elaborating what the issues were.

Afridi said the players had approached him since they wanted a solution to all the problems.

"I told Younus about the issues conveyed by these players but I personally think it is better if the players talk to the captain directly and sort out the issues they have with him personally," Afridi told Geo Super Channel last night.

But the flamboyant all-rounder insisted that he had no personal issues with Younus and had always supported him as captain.

"I also believe every player should support Younis and I will always keep on backing him in any circumstances."

He also said that since he was vice-captain of the team he played his role in trying to improve communication between players and keeping the younger players closer to each other.

Afridi insisted that he had never run after the captaincy and felt comfortable playing under Younus.

"Captaincy is a big responsibility and I think Younus should continue till the 2011 World Cup," Afridi said.

Afridi also welcomed Younus' statement that he was thinking of making a comeback to Twenty20 cricket.

"If Younus wants to play in T20s again, he is most welcome and he can even take the captaincy from me. But like everyone else he will have to perform for his place in T20 cricket," he said.

The experienced all-rounder made it clear that whenever he and Younus have met their main discussion centered around how to bring about more improvement to the national team.

Afridi also talked about his decision to not play Test cricket until the next World Cup insisting that he was earlier interested in this but gave up after the selectors kept on sidelining him for Test matches.

"Now I am focusing on one-day and T20 cricket but that does not mean that if I get a chance to play Test cricket I will ignore it," he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Younus Khan today adjured his teammates to discuss fearlessly any issue with him and insisted he was not responsible for any communication gap.

"I personally think that players should have the courage to fight for their rights and discuss their issues openly with the captain and management," Younus said.

Younus refused to agree that he was responsible for the communication gap in the team that has been highlighted a great deal by Afridi in recent days.

"I don't think I am responsible for this if there is any communication gap between the players it is because of the weak team management," he said.

The Pakistan cricket Board has changed the management of the national team for the coming series against New Zealand by dropping manager Yawar Saeed and his assistant Shafqat Rana whom Younus has blamed for the problems in the team.

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