Shahid Afridi says he'd be more interested in coaching kids than national team

Faizan Lakhani

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has expressed his interest in coaching U14 and U16 cricketers instead of working with top-level players.

Most recently retired or otherwise cricketers yearn to take coaching gigs with the men's national team but Afridi thinks differently.

He made his feelings known while talking to media in Karachi at a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Shahid Afridi Foundation and Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association (PDCA).

“I want to work with kids of U14 or U16 age group. All the former cricketers usually want to work with the national team or selection committee, but my thoughts are different. When you share your experience with U14 or U16 age group, it stays with them for long. Whenever I go to the Moin Khan academy, I share my experience with youngsters,” he said when asked if he will ever take any role with the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The former captain also brushed aside the notion that closure of departmental cricket has left everyone jobless. He threw his weight behind the PCB, saying that one must give the new system some time before passing any judgment on its future.

“The PCB has brought a new system, give it some time and then decide if the system is good or not. It is not like that closure of departmental cricket has made everyone jobless. Around 280 players are already contracted with PCB. So, jobs are still there. Department had their roles for us and looked after cricketers for so long, but now we must give three-four years to this system before passing any judgment,” he said.

Afridi, at the occasion, was also announced as the honorary chairman of PDCA. Soon after being bestowed with the honour, he called for the PDCA to be made more professional.

“Disabled Cricket in Pakistan needs to be made professional. They need professional people to run their affairs so that players can be promoted using both conventional media and social media. I will also try to promote them and play my part in making them financially stable,” he said.

Afridi further said that the newfound fitness problems are an indication that the players may not be putting in the work required.

He said that professional players should keep themselves fit even during the off-season.

He said that cricket has changed a lot and shorter formats have made the game quicker, 

“The selection committee must decide who is fit for T20 and who is fit for Tests. Not everyone can be fit for all three formats. The selection committee should be clear about this,” he said.

Shahid Afridi says he'd be more interested in coaching kids than men's team