Dejected Ahmed Shehzad Bids Farewell to PSL Over ‘Denying Him a Team’

Sat Dec 16 2023
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LAHORE: Pakistani cricketer Ahmed Shehzad has announced his retirement from the PSL amidst frustration, alleging a collective effort by all six franchises to exclude him from the competition.

He expressed this in a detailed statement where, though not explicitly stated, he asserted his knowledge of the reasons behind his exclusion from the PSL. Shehzad cited the preservation of his self-respect as the reason for his departure but clarified that this retirement is specific to the PSL and not a complete withdrawal from cricket.

He mentioned receiving offers to play in various leagues worldwide, implying his readiness to explore these opportunities now. His statement revealed disillusionment with Pakistani cricket, highlighting a belief that patriotism hinders progress and hinting at other players choosing lucrative global league contracts while he remained committed to the domestic circuit.

“I tried really hard in domestic cricket consistently in the last few years, and did reasonably well in the National T20 Cup just before the PSL draft,” he wrote in a post on social media. “There seems a deliberate effort to keep me out even when franchises have opted for other performers with inferior numbers than me,” he said. “But when everything is pre-planned it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know whose responsibility it is to get top domestic performers in the PSL then.”

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Shehzad, a 32-year-old cricketer, was last seen in the PSL back in 2020, where he notably represented Quetta Gladiators and clinched the 2019 title with a memorable half-century in the final match. However, his performance took a downturn in the 2020 tournament, managing just 61 runs across seven innings, leading to his absence from subsequent games. Despite his past achievements, he hasn’t been in contention for Pakistan’s team lately.

Interestingly, there’s been a grassroots movement, particularly on social media, advocating for Shehzad’s return to the national team this season. Chief selector Wahab Riaz and incoming selector Asad Shafiq have been probed about the potential of Shehzad’s comeback but have remained cautious, neither confirming nor dismissing the possibility.

Despite his decent show in the National T20 Cup, scoring 344 runs at an impressive strike rate, he surprisingly found no takers during the recent PSL draft held on December 13. With Pakistan’s upcoming T20 series against New Zealand following their tour of Australia, it remains uncertain if Shehzad will re-enter the national fold.

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