Tour of South Africa: Afridi handed ‘one last chance’

Published: February 21, 2013

The inclusion of Afridi in the ODI squad against South Africa came as a surprise to all, but the PCB reiterated that it would be the all-rounder’s last chance. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

Former captain Shahid Afridi, who was dropped from the tour of India after a string of poor performances last year, regained his place in the format for the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa.

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee announced the squads for the Twenty20 and ODI series against South Africa yesterday that will start on March 1 – following the third and final Test in Centurion.

It was a hectic day for the Iqbal Qasim-led selection committee that assembled at the PCB’s headquarters in Lahore yesterday first for a telephonic meeting with the team management in South Africa and then with the board’s chairman Zaka Ashraf before announcing the team.

According to officials close to the selection committee, initially the selectors were reluctant to include Afridi in the ODI squad but changed their mind after final discussions with the team management.

“The captain [Misbahul Haq] supported Afridi’s inclusion in ODIs,” an official told The Express Tribune.

Afridi’s return to the format is debatable as the all-rounder hardly did anything to justify his selection after the sequence of poor performances last year both with the bat and ball.

Afridi will have to perform: Qasim

The PCB’s chief selector, while giving justification for the former captain’s selection, said that the series will be a do-or-die chance for the star all-rounder to revive his one-day career.

“It’s the last chance for Afridi and he will have to perform,” said the chief selector while countering questions regarding his selection.

Qasim, a former Test spinner, said Pakistan will need a leg-spinner for South Africa for which Afridi was deemed appropriate.

“He has variety in his bowling and his fitness was assessed in recent matches against Afghanistan,” said the chief selector while referring to Pakistan A matches against visitors.

Meanwhile, the selectors dropped Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Anwar Ali and Zulfiqar Babar, who toured with Pakistan’s ODI squad in India.

In-form Asad Shafiq, who missed the tour due to an injury, returned to the format along with Abdur Rehman. Former captain Shoaib Malik, who was retained for ODIs in India, also consolidated his place while Mohammad Irfan has also been recalled in the 16-man squad.

Experienced fast-bowler Umar Gul has been retained along with Wahab Riaz.

To a query for ignoring another fast-bowler Aizaz Cheema, the chief selector said they preferred Riaz over him as he was a ‘better’ option.

Tanvir axed from Twenty20 squad

Meanwhile, the selection committee decided against making many change in the Twenty20 squad as it made just a single change in the squad that played against India.

Left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir has been dropped, paving the way for Riaz to retain his place in the format. Babar was retained in the 15-man Mohammad Hafeez-led side along with fast-bowler Asad Ali.

South Africa name both squads

Middle-order batsman Faf du Plessis has been appointed as the full-time captain of South Africa’s T20 International team after AB de Villiers requested to stand down from his position.

The announcement was made while South Africa’s announcement for ODI and T20 International teams against Pakistan.

After the appointment South Africa now have three different captains for all three formats with Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers leading the Tests and ODI sides respectively.

Meanwhile, veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis has been rested from both the ODI and T20 teams.

Hashim Amla was not named in the T20 squad as he wanted a break to concentrate more on the other two formats. Dale Steyn was also rested for T20s.

ODI Squad

Misbahul Haq (Captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younas Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, M Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Umer Gul, Imran Farhat, Abdur Rehman

T20 Squad 

Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi,  Saeed Ajmal, M Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Ahmad Shahzad, Umer Amin, Zulfiqar Baber, Asad Ali, Junaid Khan

Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2013.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • MarathonMan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:56AM

    Based on what? Surely not his performance against Afghanistan? Now you can add the name of Afridi to the earlier poor selections: Faisl Iqbal, Tanvir Ahmad, Sarfraz and Rahat Ali.

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  • Cricket fan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:44AM

    I dont want Afridi out of ODIs but he should have been sidelined until he strike back form by featuring in domestic cricket. Its a pure unjustification with upcoming all-rounders like Hammad Azam. If Afridi has been selected then why not Abdur Razzaq who has extreme confidence agaisnt South Africa not to forget his match-winning century in Abu Dhabi against them

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  • Donga Bonga
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:52AM

    Baba?

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  • S
    Feb 21, 2013 - 5:05AM

    no Afridi must be given chance, he is a brilliant player and he can bounce back. All the way with lala!

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  • lalas fan
    Feb 21, 2013 - 6:01AM

    he has to be in team for five more years at least irrespective of his form. boom boom wll tear apart proteas bowling

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  • imran
    Feb 21, 2013 - 9:44AM

    i couldnt understand logic behind afridi selection.zulfiqar babr is giving excellent performance for last 3 years in domestic performance and he was included in ODI team against india but didnt play.now he has been droped.zulfiqar performed against afghanistan and afridi couldnt perform.i think afridi has strong lobby

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  • YA
    Feb 21, 2013 - 12:14PM

    When would Imran Farhat be handed his ‘last chance’ by the selectors?

    I’m sure we all know the answer to that ;)

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  • maxwood
    Feb 21, 2013 - 2:01PM

    Shahid Afridi is a good cricketer, and should be retired cricketer

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  • A - No.1
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:02PM

    This is what is called “Influence”. Advertisers demand that their blue eyed boys be included. After all they have invested heavily in their adverts.

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  • shuja
    Feb 21, 2013 - 3:50PM

    I suspect this man holds the world record for being given the maximum number of chances ( over 400 ODIs ) and yet they give him another chance.In any other cricket playing nation he would have been discarded long long ago.Hugely overrated cricketer.

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  • Feb 21, 2013 - 4:42PM

    i dont think shahid afridi justifies his selection. if you take out the statistics of the last 20 one day he had played ,18 times he has been a failure. he demoralises the whole team , we should give chance to another player who has performed well in domestic season.

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  • Amer
    Feb 21, 2013 - 6:07PM

    I used to be a huge Afridi fan but not anymore. I think there’s always a good time for any cricketer to retire and that time has long passed for Afridi.
    GO Afridi GO! Leave the team or get kicked out, it’s your choice LALA!!

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  • Shamy
    Feb 21, 2013 - 6:32PM

    Afridi is a great Leg Spinner…without the Spin ofcourse.

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  • zubair
    Feb 21, 2013 - 7:18PM

    we want imran nazir replace og ahmed shahzad in t20 squad

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  • zubair
    Feb 21, 2013 - 7:19PM

    *we want imran nazir in T20 squad replace ahmed shahzad
    *

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Feb 21, 2013 - 8:30PM

    Bad decision. If he is not selected to the playing XI, then additional waste of resources and money. Time to go.

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  • Mr Mulla Pakistan
    Feb 22, 2013 - 1:14PM

    the boy cannot BAT…Pakistan has given him more chances then anyone else…..let him play domestic cricket and learn to bat again

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  • bilal
    Feb 26, 2013 - 10:15AM

    i think abdur razzaq is best all rounder as compared to lala .but pcb they are doing unjustice with abdur razzaq

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