ICC Champions Trophy: Afridi shown the door, again

Published: April 30, 2013

Afridi, who was earlier left out of the squad that toured India, made 126 runs in four innings but went wicketless in five ODIs against South Africa after being recalled. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: 

As expected, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was axed from the 15-man squad for the tour of Scotland and Ireland besides the ICC Champions Trophy, announced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), after much deliberation late last night.

Out-of-form batsman Umar Akmal was the other notable exclusion as the selection committee made four changes in the squad that was defeated by South Africa in March.

Experienced campaigner Younus Khan’s name was already missing when the 30-man preliminary squad was announced earlier, with Umar Amin replacing the former captain.

Upcoming fast-bowlers Asad Ali and Ehsan Adil were rewarded for their impressive show at the President’s Cup one-day tournament and were added to the pace battery that misses the name of Umar Gul — ruled out due to injury.

The selection panel, headed by Iqbal Qasim along with the team management including captain Misbahul Haq and head coach Dav Whatmore, weighed various aspects before finalising the squad.

Before making a final decision on Afridi’s snub, the meeting, which also featured PCB’s director Intikhab Alam, held a lengthy meeting that delayed the squad announcement for a couple of hours.

PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf also held a lengthy meeting with the selectors before the announcement was made, according to a board official.

Afridi, the most accomplished Pakistan all-rounder in ODIs with 7201 runs and 348 wickets from 354 matches, was under the scanner ever since the selectors met the team management last week.

Pakistan are due to play two ODIs against Ireland (May 17 and 19) before featuring in a couple of matches against Scotland (May 23 and 26) before the Champions Trophy starts in England from June 6.

End of the Road for Afridi in ODIs?

The all-rounder was recalled for the ODI series in South Africa after being dropped for the series against India following a poor run in the format.

Qasim had made it clear at the time that the South Africa series was the last chance for the star all-rounder.

However, Afridi managed 126 runs from four innings, including an 88-run knock that also helped Pakistan win the match, but remained wicketless throughout the series.

He also failed to impress at the President’s Cup, managing just 70 runs and taking three wickets.

But the chief selector insisted that it was not the end of the road for Afridi in the format.

“Afridi’s ODI career is not over,” said the chief selector. “He can make a comeback by regaining his form. A player gets selected when he performs. We wouldn’t have dropped him if he had performed well in the domestic tournament. It’s a must for a player to perform at this level after he has failed in international cricket.”

The chief selector added that the team was named after a unanimous decision by the selection committee.

“Our pool [at the Champions Trophy] is tough but we are hoping for good results from the selected squad. We have a reputation of playing to our potential in ICC events.”

Meanwhile, Kamran Akmal, who came under the scanner after the South Africa series, got another lifeline and was preferred over Mohammad Rizwan on the basis of a good batting show at the President’s Cup.

The likes of Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan have also made it a pace-heavy squad.

Imran Farhat, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq also retained their places in the Misbahul Haq-led team.

15-man squad

Misbahul Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Abdul Rehman, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Umar Amin, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Saeed Ajmal, Asad Ali, Ehsan Adil, Wahab Riaz

Woodhill gets temporary role

Ending a lengthy wait, the PCB finally announced former New Zealand assistant coach Trent Woodill as the national batting coach.

However, Woodhill, who is currently associated with Delhi Daredevils, has been given a temporary role with the Pakistan national team as he will accompany the players for upcoming tours of Scotland and Ireland besides the ICC Champions Trophy. An extension of his contract will be based on his performance.

Interestingly, it has been learnt that the 42-year-old Australian is unlikely to join the team in Abbottabad for the training camp and will fly to the UK directly. PCB Director Intikhab Alam said Woodhill has vast experience as he was associated with various outfits including Big Bash sides.

The board started looking for a batting coach last November with various Pakistan legends including Zaheer Abbas and Inzamamul Haq also being tipped to get the job.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2013.

Reader Comments (34)

  • Baloch Insafian
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:19AM

    Instead of four potential openers wasn’t it better to include Umar Akmal in place of Imran Farhat?

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  • Adnan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 1:43AM

    I dont mind dropping Afridi from the squad but Shoaib Malik inclussion is mind boggling. Afridi scored more runs in one dayers in South Africa, he is second in the list of most runs scored after Misbah. It is also sad to see Umar Akmal dropped, he should be given a constant run to prove his talent. Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik selected and Afridi dropped due to bad performance does not make any sense.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:18AM

    The great Afridi has scored 20 runs per match and less than one wicket per match in his OD life. The youngsters much be given chance for the future. Great and fair selections by the officials.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 2:49AM

    Good riddance..Afridi’s cricket career has ended.

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  • nadeem khan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:36AM

    for god’s sake…afridi is just a snobbish player..great jubilation for most to see him out of team…Recommend

  • V
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:09AM

    Correction : Pakistan lost that match when afridi scored 88.

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  • Imtiaz Hamid
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:44AM

    interesting team selection, So far batting side does not look very impressive.Just wonder who will be a reliable one day batsman against a proven set of fast bowlers from RSA ,U.K and Australia. on the bowling side pacers appear to be undistinguished group other than Irfan. Of course we have great spinner Saeed Ajmal. But how much of a burden can be imposed on him. As much as I am rooting for Pak team As an old but ardent fan,I am not very hopeful. I wish them well Let us see what happens.

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  • BILAL
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:25AM

    FOR GOD SAKE PCB, why Imran Farhat is a part of every squad, kick him OUT he’s a worst player i have ever seen.

    Only that he’s a son in law of one of the selection committee’s member.

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  • Usama Bin Ahmed
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:06AM

    Just one question

    Who will gonna chase the target of 250 or even 300?? Any hard core hitter in the team?? Oh yes ..Mr. Tuk Tuk will seal us home :)

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  • Faizan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:09AM

    Fair selection. Shoaib and kamemphasized textran have their last chance. And after CT, we should look forward to Muhammad Rizwan if Kami doesn’t work. Ehsaan Adil still needs to improve.middle order batting is a serious concern.

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  • Apr 30, 2013 - 9:17AM

    Albert Einstein defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

    PCB has again selected all those batsmen for the champions trophy, who are known failures against quality bowling viz., Misbah ul Haq, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal. Mr. Kamran Akmal is also known for his below average wicket keeping, as well. Moreover, Misbah ul Haq has also proved to be the biggest ordinary mind, when it comes to the selection of final eleven and bowling changes.

    This insane selection of dud players, makes the team highly unbalanced and even more prone to getting out on low scores.

    As such, with the inclusion of the above named three players and exclusion of players like Ahmad Shahzad and Hammad Azam, now only a miracle can save Pakistani cricket team, from a humiliating early exit from the Champions trophy.

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  • Ahsan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:43AM

    Knowing the previous performance of Afridi in UK, its a stupid decision to drop Afridi for such a big event.

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  • romeo
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:54AM

    Afridi should have been dropped long before. But our silly selectors always thought that fluke shot will always bring six runs. Afridi’s selection in the team green cost the World 20/20 championships and the South African series.

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  • Pakistan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:37AM

    Afridi’s 88 runs knock does not help Pakistan in winning the match. Pakistan lost that match. ET plz correct.

    Afridi exclusion in expected because of his form but on what basis Imran Farhat has been selected, why he always been given a chance. He has done nothing at international level but PCB is giving him chances instead of him Khurram Manzoor should be selected.

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  • Sheikh Salman
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:39AM

    As expected the same old players were selected. Once again PCB over look players like Hammad Azam, Muhammad Talha and Harris Sohail. Pity PCB is going no where with this kind of selection. Hope we can win just one group match.

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  • Punjab Eleven
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:42AM

    It seems that TTP has threatened the selection committee as well. They are not supposed to take any player outside of Punjab. This to me looks a team of Bowlers and All rounders. Whereas, CT is in England where pitches and conditions are bowler friendly. We need more batting than bowling. The middle order is weakest in the tournament, when compared to top teams. Openers always have bad time in Eng and one needs strong middle order. Iqbal Qasim is afraid of TTP.

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  • M
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:43AM

    “However, Afridi managed 126 runs from four innings, including an 88-run knock that also helped Pakistan win the match, but remained wicketless throughout the series.”

    ET, Pakistan lost that match by 34 runs. Can someone please proof read the articles before posting them online. Or was this a deliberate mistake to make it look as if Afridi’s removal from the team was not justified.

    Match Reference: http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-pakistan-2013/engine/match/567370.html

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  • A Karachiite
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:44AM

    This is so disturbing to see Shoaib Malik in the team line up despite of having mediocre performances all the way through his career.

    Last three years (Mar.2010 to Mar2013), he just managed a batting average of 18.66 with a highest score of 35*. In his last 21 ODIs he got just 8 wickets with an average of 28.75.

    In comparison, Shahid Afridi in the same period attained a batting average of 24.88 with a highest score of 124. while he managed to get 73 wickets with an average of 33.13.

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  • Arif
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:47AM

    Good Afridi and Umer Akmal are gone. Kamran Akmal should have been gone too.

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  • Ayaan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 10:52AM

    “Afridi managed 126 runs from four innings, including an 88-run knock that also helped Pakistan win the match”
    Correction: The 3rd ODI in which Afridi scored 88 runs was actually won by South Africa. They scored 343 runs. Afridi provided some good fireworks towards the middle-to-end of Pakistan’s innings, but Pakistan fell short by 34 runs.

    You can refer to the following link:
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-pakistan-2013/engine/match/567370.html

    Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 11:38AM

    Afridi’s 88 run knock doesnt helped Pakistan winning the match. Pakistan lost that match.

    Can selection committee justified inclustion of Imran Farhat. Why Ahmed Shahzad and Hammad Azam are not selected. Afridi is dropped becasue of poor form but on what bais they selected Imran Farhat.

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  • BoomBoom
    Apr 30, 2013 - 11:59AM

    Lala met with Naswaz Sahrif and got pusnished

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  • Asjad
    Apr 30, 2013 - 12:00PM

    Afridi dropped fair enough…but with Umer Akmal also gone, how would Pakistan score 250 or above is beyond me.Unless Nasir Jamshed plays through 50 overs (I am hoping he is given a chance n not Mr Damad…) there is nobody in the squad who can go at a run a ball or better. Plus why is Umer Ameen thrown at the deep end always is beyond me. Last time he played in England, the results were poor and now with Akmal, and Yonus out…he would get his chance in conditions he must be hating since 2010.

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  • Baffled
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:18PM

    @Ahsan:
    What is that previous performance? Even if it was world class, how long can a mentally retarded liability hold the team back for what he did 10 years ago? Good decision, a bit too late!

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  • Adnan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 3:28PM

    Middle order looks very thin, no stroke makers. Umar Akmal should have given a chance. Why Shoaib Malik, again a mystery??. No genuine (apart from Hafeez) all rounder in team, do not know why Hammad Azam is given a chance. Umer Amin was a flop last time he went to England. Bowling looks fine. I give this team no chance to qualify into knock out stage.

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  • Please correct
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:28PM

    when afridi scored 88 runs pak still lost the match ET please correct.

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  • Ayaan
    Apr 30, 2013 - 4:34PM

    “Afridi managed 126 runs from four innings, including an 88-run knock that also helped Pakistan win the match”
    Correction: The 3rd ODI in which Afridi scored 88 runs was actually won by South Africa. They scored 343 runs. Afridi provided some good fireworks towards the middle-to-end of Pakistan’s innings, but Pakistan fell short by 34 runs.

    You can refer to the following link:
    http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-africa-v-pakistan-2013/engine/match/567370.html

    Recommend

  • Dilip
    Apr 30, 2013 - 5:16PM

    BOOM!!! BOOM ………… DOOMED!!!!!!!!

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  • Ali Ahmed
    Apr 30, 2013 - 6:55PM

    Whatever.. without Afridi Pakistan team looks pale and unattractive… Hope to see u back soon Boom Boom

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  • Ali Ahmed
    Apr 30, 2013 - 7:02PM

    And what Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik did during South Africa series. Why only Afridi face consequenses of a loss

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  • Apr 30, 2013 - 8:19PM

    Umer Akmal is nothing extra ordinary.he will flourish against weak bowling attack or on placid wicket.he is a reincarnation of G HICK,MANSOOR AKHTAR Or KUMBLI.enough is enough.let new comer be trird.

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  • Baber
    Apr 30, 2013 - 8:57PM

    Ahmed Shezad should have been playing instead of Farhat. and Rizwan for Kamran Akmal. Farhat and Akmal need to be permenantly out of the team.

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  • Umair
    Apr 30, 2013 - 9:48PM

    Lala you made a ,istake by signalling PTI jalsa presence. You should have did iy for PPP and that would had pleased Zaka Ashraf

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  • waseem
    Jun 9, 2013 - 8:54PM

    shahid afridi is very best palyer

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