|Player:||Mohammad Wasim, Shoaib Akhtar|
DateLine: 19th March 2011
Shoaib Akhtar's captain in domestic cricket at KRL, Mohammad Wasim has rejected any rumours of Shoaib's retirement from international cricket as being an impulsive and unplanned decision.
Wasim who has captained Shoaib at various levels of cricket stated that the Rawalpindi Express had thought long and hard about the decision to retire and contrary to some stories it was not a decision that Shoaib had made without any thought.
Speaking exclusively to *PakPassion.net* Wasim stated that "Shoaib spoke to me before the World Cup and said that he was going to retire from playing international cricket after the World Cup. It's not an impulsive decision or a surprise to me, it was all planned and I expected it."
Wasim further added "I've played cricket with Shoaib since our teenage years in Rawalpindi. We played together at college level, then progressed to under 19 cricket in Rawalpindi, then onto KRL. Afterwards we played together at ZTBL for one season, before returning to KRL. Shoaib also played for Pakistan "A" alongside me, so there aren't many people around in the world of cricket who know Shoaib as well as me."
Wasim maintains that whilst in international cricket, captains could not always get the best out of Shoaib, he [Wasim] always managed to get the best out of Shoaib in domestic cricket and that the Rawalpindi Express always gave his all for him.
"You have to be able to handle all of your players differently and Shoaib always did the business for me. We have a very good mutual relationship and he knows what I expect and I know how to get the best out of him. Sometimes he needs an arm round the shoulder and other times, he needs something a bit sterner, but it's always been about what to say at the right time to Shoaib to get the best out of him and motivate him. It was all about knowing what made him tick and that is a trick that some captains missed with him for Pakistan."
Wasim added that he was surprised at stories and quotes of Shoaib's retirement not being thought out and planned and added that Shoaib had thought about when to retire thoroughly.
"Shoaib spoke to me and several of the Pakistan squad members before the World Cup and made his decision after consulting with us and thinking things through properly. The aches and pains were getting too much for him and although I did say to him that perhaps he should continue to play Twenty20 cricket for Pakistan, he felt that it was time to move on and give younger bowlers in Pakistan a chance. He's thought about this decision for a while now and didn't just suddenly wake up one morning and feel that's enough."
Wasim feels that despite some exciting prospects in domestic cricket in Pakistan, Shoaib will be difficult to replace.
"Bowlers of Shoaib's style, pace and skill level don't come round very often and yes he will be missed and it will be difficult to replace him. At the moment I can't really think of any bowler in Pakistan who can replace Shoaib and rattle the opposition like only he could."
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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