Legendary Pakistani cricketers, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, have expressed strong disapproval over the decision to rest star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi in the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Shaheen, who performed exceptionally well in the previous two Tests, was a key player for Pakistan. The move is seen as a preparation for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand, where Shaheen is set to lead the team. However, Akram and Younis question the prioritization of T20 cricket over the prestigious Test format.
Wasim Akram, speaking on Fox Cricket, criticized Shaheen for making the decision independently, emphasizing the importance of players choosing between greatness in the game and financial gains. He highlighted the significance of Test cricket as the ultimate format, urging players to recognize its value despite the allure of T20 entertainment.
Waqar Younis joined in the criticism, deeming the situation “laughable.” He expressed astonishment at Shaheen missing a Test match for rest purposes, especially considering his improved performance in the previous match. Waqar emphasized that Test cricket holds a unique status and players should prioritize it over T20s and ODIs.
The debate surrounding Shaheen’s workload management has been ongoing, with considerations for his history of injuries. While rotation is a common practice, the decision to rest a player for a Test match raises questions about the balance between player fitness and the significance of Test cricket in Pakistan’s cricketing priorities.
As Australia took charge on the first day of the Test, the absence of Shaheen Afridi became a focal point, sparking discussions about the team’s strategy and the broader context of player decisions in international cricket.