Colombo - Captain Shahid Afridi says Shoaib Akhtar will only play "if needed" in Pakistan's remaining World Cup matches, and the retirement of enigmatic fast bowler will not adversely affect the squad.
Pakistan takes on four-time champion Australia in a Group A match on Saturday to decide quarterfinals standings.
Afridi says selectors in Pakistan "normally kick you out, you don't leave yourself", and has praised Akhtar for setting a good example.
The 35-year-old Akhtar announced on Thursday that he's retiring from international cricket after the World Cup.
The mercurial fast bowler has played in three of the five matches and has taken three wickets.