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Chief selector gives Afridi last chance


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Shahid Afridi was recalled for ODI series against South Africa after being ignored for the one-day series against India in December. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Shahid Afridi has been handed a last chance to perform at international level with his selection on Wednesday for Pakistan's one-day international cricket series in South Africa next month.     

Afridi was recalled on Wednesday after being ignored for the one-day series against India in December. ''The South Africa tour is his last (chance) and he has to perform,'' Pakistan chief selector Iqbal Qasim said.

Pakistan batsmen have been struggling on fast bouncy wickets in South Africa and are already trailing 2-0 in the three-match test series with the last test beginning at Centurion from Friday.

Qasim said it was not Afridi's hard hitting but his legspin bowling which had kept the allrounder, eighth on the all-time list of ODI appearances, in mind.  ''It's five ODIs and you need variety in your bowling,'' Qasim said. ''Based on his quality of right-arm legspin bowling, we have selected him.''

This month, Afridi led Pakistan A in a one-day series against Afghanistan, and Qasim said the selectors were satisfied with his fitness. He turns 33 on March 1. Afridi has played 349 one-dayers for an average of 23, plus 348 wickets.

The chief selector said he wanted to give ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq enough bowling choice in the spin department after watching South African batsmen struggle against slow bowlers in the tests.

''I am not saying go and play him (Afridi) in the 11, my mind says we have to have some variety (in bowling). ''They (South Africans) are playing good against fast bowlers and we have seen if you have variety of spinners, it will give you benefit.''

Pakistan offspinner Saeed Ajmal got 10 wickets in the second test, but still could not prevent Pakistan going down by four wickets as the fast bowlers could not make an impact on the Proteas.

Durban and Centurion will host the two Twenty20s on March 1 and 3 before the five-match ODI series begins at Bloemfontein on March 10.

Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal and fast bowler Wahab Riaz, who could not make it to the test team, were selected for both Twenty20s and ODIs. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal was also overlooked for the test series but returns to replace Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps in the shorter formats.

Twenty20 squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Amin, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Asad Ali, Junaid Khan.

ODI squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Abdur Rehman.

Comments (30) Closed

Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Feb 21, 2013 04:41am
Surprisingly people are talking about Afridi. He deserves his spot based on his bowling and exceptional fielding let alone batting. No one is talking about "IMRAN FARHAT" what is he doing in the squad. For some reason he is on the team for every tour. An Afridi with one leg is better then Imran Farhat
Sab Se Pehle Pakistan Feb 21, 2013 04:46am
Afridi did pretty well against Afghanistan and lead Pakistan A team to victory. For Shoaib Malik I agree has done nothing for years. God knows why him and Imran Farhat are in the team always.
Zohaib burki Feb 21, 2013 06:08am
why tanvir was selected for test series . Africa pitches are very fast and sami should have been selected for the team
Capt C M Khan Feb 21, 2013 05:46am
Last chance for Chief Selector I would say. Firstly sending bowlers like Tanvir and Rifat. Now sending the useless Akmal Brothers. What?????/ Pakistan cannot find better players than theses average guys from a population of 180 million. I think the Chief Sytime.elector you are the one who's last chance is it. We are fed up of wrong selections ever
Zohaib burki Feb 21, 2013 06:10am
Why not anwar ali and why farhat and shoaib malik in the side . I question every pakistani is asking
Zohaib burki Feb 21, 2013 06:12am
wahab in not capable to be in the test side
Farooq Mogul Feb 21, 2013 03:33am
You even have no connection with Iqbal Qasim, who sent two lousy players from Karachi, Tanvir and Sarfaraz to SA, but could not find a place for you, who have been performing well for last 4-5 years.
Javed Feb 21, 2013 02:11am
Might as well have sent Mohd Yousuf (Youhana) on the same flight.
Tahir Feb 20, 2013 10:21pm
He looks about forty in this picture.
bilalchaudhry2 Feb 20, 2013 10:18pm
Thank You PCB for making Hammad Azam the next Abdul Razzaq -- So much genuine talent, such little board backing. It amazes me how the likes of Hammad's spots are filled by utterly incomprehensible selections such as Imran Farhat. I guess nepotism helps defy logic.
Rizman Feb 20, 2013 09:45pm
It is so sad that we set Sarfraz against world no.1 team, he failed like all others in the team & now we want only Sarfraz out and want Akmals back who (both) failed more then Sarfraz? If failing in four innings is the decisive factor then Akmal brother should not be part of this discussion as both culprits have failed more then four times. Also why only Sarfraz is in discussion, what about other 9?. Why no one is talking about Hafeez, Misbah, Yunis, Azhar. They all failed in at least 3 innings. As long as injustice continues in Pakistan, this will never regain its digniity in cricketing world P.S welcome shahid
AM Feb 21, 2013 06:28am
Pakistan chief selector Iqbal Qasim is the ONE who needs to be on HIS last chance. These selectors are like corporate senior management who take credit when things go well and blame OTHERS if things do not go well. The whole program needs improvement, recruiting, selection, training, upkeep, compensation for the players and managers. AND why do we always keep hiring foreign managers-coaches?
Muba Khan Feb 20, 2013 08:05pm
Didn't Afiridi score 70+ in one of the A team matches?
Abrar-ul-Haque, Virginia, USA Feb 20, 2013 05:49pm
I don't think if Umar Akmal will be able to make any impact in the only remaining test, as he would naturally need time to acclimatize himself with the conditions there. As for Afridi and Malik, if they have to go, they must be sent quickly enough so that they have some practice before the short version of the game starts.
WeCare Feb 20, 2013 07:42pm
Look Iqbal Qasim is giving last chance. I've seen Iqbal Qasim playing too. Though Afridi has been failing a lot he has always been much superior than Mr. Qasim. Perhaps the last chance should be given to Iqbal Qasim for selecting sifarshi players in S.A tour and causing embarrasing defeats.
ahmed2030 Feb 20, 2013 06:17pm
Akmals Back ? DISASTER !!! Umar and Kamran are not even good for ODI's. In fact Umar Akmal is the biggest loser Pakistan has produced. Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz are match fixers.
fus Feb 20, 2013 05:21pm
Rest in peace Anwer Ali, You dont have a relative like Imran Farhat or magic of Shoaib Malik or Afridi so just rest in peace.
M. Toor Feb 20, 2013 05:21pm
"Afridi and Malik recalled for ODI series" Here's my question - Why??. Is there any evidence that both have re-gained any form to deserve a recall? MT
kirther Feb 20, 2013 05:14pm
I wonder why Wahab Riaz was not selected for test series, he is a better than those medicore medium pacers sent to South Africa for test series. The selection of Akmal brothers for T20 and one day series is again a bad move, they are not reliable and are good for nothing as evident from their performances. Has Misbah been appointed as one day captain in appreciation of his negative tactics and below average performance as captain, batsman and fielder, once again wrong policy no wonder things are not improving in Pakistan.
Noor Feb 21, 2013 08:08am
Akmal is for T20 and ODIs not for TESTs
Javid Shirazi Feb 21, 2013 08:23am
There you go again. Same old story. It appears that the selectors are unwilling or unable to learn. They keep repeating the same mistakes.
Sunsunati Feb 21, 2013 08:27am
no one cares what your question is :D
bilal Feb 21, 2013 08:41am
GET your facts which article does it say umar akmal has been selected for the final test???...
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Feb 21, 2013 09:05am
Here is a golden opportunity for all these 'ignored cricketers' to show their real class and mettle on the field against one of the best cricket teams in the world since sold and tangible action always speaks louder than hollow words.
Abdul Hasan Feb 21, 2013 09:09am
Iqbal Qasim should know better, in Pakistan, selectors come and go, and for people like Afridi, their last chance is never really the last one !!
Deepak Feb 21, 2013 09:29am
I love Shahid Afridi and he will get his best in the upcoming series against South Africa. All the best Boom boom...... Love from Mumbai
vijayIndia Feb 21, 2013 09:52am
After this last chance please give him another chance
nayyar51 Feb 21, 2013 12:41pm
Last chance for Shahid Afridi OK. But Mr. Chief selector what about Misbah ul Haq, Umar Gul, Shaoib Malik and Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan and Umer Akmal?
mehboobmalik Feb 21, 2013 12:55pm
I do not know where our board people live. This is the most strange and ridiculous thing which they are saying now that they came to know after the two tests that South Africans dont play the spin very well especially leg spin. These people do not deserve to be in board at all. They are not professional and they do not even know how to plan the series to win. I do not like the way Mr. Qasim quoted this is the last chance for Afridi. Is it seem suitable? When the board is giving him chance to play after the failure of their superstars, is there any need to mention this as a last chance? Now they do not have enough options left so they called him, if the team is winning they never call him again. PCB is fully responsbile for the loss of test series by South Africa.
Aamir Feb 22, 2013 02:20am
I personally don't think Afridi should be playing in the South African tour. He needs a break and think about how he can play a better game and calm down. As far as neyyar51's comment about last chance for Misbah ul Haq, please have a look at his record as a is pretty damn good. He has maybe a couple of years left so leave him alone. My fear is that his replacement Hafeez might not be ready so we need to find someone else. Asad & Nasir are too young and inexperienced and maybe in 5 years they will be ready. As far as the Akmals, they are out and should only be allowed a chance if they show some maturity and calmness. We need to find a keeper/ batsman...I don't think Sarfraz is working. Pakistan needs to win the next Test, ODI and T-20. Go Pakistan!!!!