Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul. -File photo by AP

LAHORE: After senior batsman Younis Khan, the future of senior all-rounder Shahid Afridi and paceman Umar Gul also appear to be in doubt, well informed sources in the team management told Dawn on Monday.

Younis was axed from the list of 30 probables named on Sunday for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy which is set be played in England from June 4.

“The team management from South Africa tour has expressed serious reservations over the future of Afridi and Umar Gul but in the first step it was decided to just sideline Younis who has failed to perform well over the last 12 months in ODI cricket,” the sources said.

“The team management gave full backing to the selectors to drop Younis from the list of 30 probables for the Champions Trophy,” the sources said.

They further revealed that the national selection committee had a long meeting with the team management before finalising the names of the probables but found no sympathy from the management for the struggling trio. However, it was decided to take steps in phases and not to press panic button because that may cause a lot of hue and cry in the cricketing circles as all three players have ample support of fans and the media.

The sources said captain Misbah also endorsed the decision of the team management as he was not happy with Younis’ performance in one-day matches. During the last 12 months, Younis has played 12 ODI matches scoring just 200 runs at a poor average of 18.18.

“Talented Asad Shafiq could play just one ODI in South Africa while Faisal Iqbal could not play even a single game. So the team management has decided to off-load the under-performing players to give more chances to the youngsters in order to raise a formidable team for the future,” sources said.

“Players like Younis, Gul and Afridi are now seen as past their prime and are not automatic choices anymore unless they come up with some outstanding performances at the top level,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, the sources added that the team management here on Monday also gave a briefing to PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf about the tour of South Africa. Coach Dav Whatmore could not give any solid reason behind the dismal performance of his team in the Test series which Pakistan lost 0-3.

However, he made several suggestions to avoid such debacle in the future including focussing on preparing specialised Test cricketers who should not be tested in the shorter version of the game. A training camp for the bowlers under the coaching of bowling wizard Wasim Akram is also set to be on the cards.

The team management, however, was satisfied over the performance of the national team in the T20 and the ODI matches but admitted that improvement in fielding remains a big challenge for the coaching staff.

The PCB chief also discussed the preparation of junior team for the upcoming World Cup, to be held next year. The think-tank has some worries about arranging more international matches for its junior team till the mega event because no foreign team is ready to visit Pakistan.

Later, a presentation was made to the PCB chairman about building a stadium in Islamabad.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (44)

April 2, 2013 9:40 am
Please kick out Shahid Khan Afridi, the guy has played 350 ODI's on just one single hundred and its time to call it a day for him.
April 2, 2013 9:49 am
If Gul, Afridi can be axed then why not Kamran Akmal, He also underperformed in RSA
April 2, 2013 11:02 am
If imran farhat, kamran akmal and shoaib malik can be part of this team then axing gul and afridi seems unjustifiable.
April 2, 2013 11:05 am
Gul is not yet done with his bowling and he shows his brilliance and class in bouts as is the case for every fast bowler. A fast bowling needs strong backing from the fielders and the other end to tempt bowlers into making errors and getting out. Afridi has his usual style of batting and that is still there although he has passed through the rough patch. His bowling has now become spineless and it appears that he is not feeling properly settle in the team causing bad performances form him, but of course that could not be presented as an excuse although this factor needs to be looked into. Younus is more like a test batsman and he still can do a lot in the longer version of the game, especially given the fact that the younger players, having been groomed in the shorter version, do not have the temprament to play long innings. My suggestion to the management would be that Afridi may be rested and Younus should be considered for the test series for the next couple of years while the younger players are groomed for the longer version.
April 2, 2013 11:07 am
I second omar
April 2, 2013 11:12 am
What about Imran Farhat , shoaib Malik and Kaman Akmal, the are all in the team with some connections...there are so many passengers in the team and no pilot.
April 2, 2013 11:22 am
Then what about Misbah ul haq has he done one hundred? Kamran Akmal?
April 2, 2013 11:35 am
April 2, 2013 11:47 am
For ICC champions trophy, consider the performance of those, who performed well during the last ODI series in England (2010). The only factor against Misbah is his age. Give him a chance in England. Have a solid batsmen at #3 to avoid collapse, if the openers are not performing. Have a 'sustainer' at #7, who can stay until the end. I think, Umar Gul still have the power to deliver. With Irfan and Junaid, they form a good combination. Magician Ajmal, and Hafeez will be spinners. An extra spinner or paceman will depend upon the local condition. The team also need a pinch-hitter in the middle. Both Akmal brothers (Umar and Kamran) are still good candidates.
April 2, 2013 11:55 am
'.....cause a lot of hue and cry in the cricketing circles as all three players have ample support of fans and the media'..... Pathetic!! Next time why not let the public decide who they pick by having a poll on PCB's website prior to a series. The sad part is that PCB has the audacity to say that they pick players based on performance / merit etc etc.
nasim khan
April 2, 2013 12:32 pm
hope it is just beginning by dropping yunis khan and it should not be stopped here but there are many in the lines as the well wishers of the pakistani team have expressed their views, what i believe that it should be categorically as 1. shahid afridi, umar gul, kamran akmal, than shoib mallick and misbah, wish people will support my view of point
wiki boy
April 2, 2013 1:11 pm
Afridi should play as an opening batsman...
April 2, 2013 1:19 pm
Countless fifties that win you matches are more important than a mere single hundred in 350 matches. Afridi can not make the team either on the bases of bowling or batting. The only real fault Misbah has is his age otherwise turn the recent history pages and see under what circumstances Misbah has batted most of the time.
April 2, 2013 1:20 pm
do you even know bout performance of the players in series your are referring to...
Asif Kahsmiri
April 2, 2013 1:44 pm
please no more of the AKMALS and Imran Farhat.
April 2, 2013 1:56 pm
Gul's performance has been disastrous for a long time and only now there is some scrutiny by the board. He took his position in the team for granted. Besides Gul, there is no place for Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Kamran Akaml, and Younus Khan.
April 2, 2013 2:27 pm
So is Faisal Iqbal. He is useless.
April 2, 2013 2:53 pm
I support your view point, however, I will change the order, first Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammed Hafeez and lastly Misbah.
April 2, 2013 3:07 pm
Why only Afridi and Gul? Why not Shoaib Malik, Misbah ul Haq and Kamran Akmal also? PCB Must Invest in Future PCB Dropping Younis Khan from ODI Team is a Facade to Cover up its Inertia Dropping of Younis means nothing, when already, he was recalled from his retirement. PCB is again going, as usual, on a wrong path, by keeping faith with oldies who are absolutely spent cartridges. Players like Misbah, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik are not even fit for the Test matches; and PCB has selected them for the ODI Champions trophy. This is a highly retrogressive step, of wasting the future of young cricketers, for such a long time. When the ODI World Cup will begin in 2015, these oldies, by that time will be reduced to nothingness; and youngsters will be highly short of few years experience. It looks the PCB people incharge of its helm of affairs, can’t see beyond their nose. They must realise that if these spent forces can’t give us reasonable stability, why to be afraid of losing with youngsters? At least six new players in place of the above named ones, will be a sound investment in future. Come on PCB have a heart and have some faith in youth, all the oldies are past their prime and they can’t go anywhere, except downhill.
April 2, 2013 3:30 pm
Why is Faisal Iqbal even under consideration. He's been tried many times and failed. Gul still has potential, just needs to find his rhythm.
April 2, 2013 4:13 pm
please give to captain see to the shahid afridi for upcoming icc champions throuphy then he try to get better performance
April 2, 2013 4:20 pm
i think PAKISTAN needs a change, we should drop Mr afridi, Misbah, Shoaib and Gul. Bring in young blood and like Hammad azam, Owais, left arm spinner Raza .
April 2, 2013 5:25 pm
I can understand Afridi's criticism, but Umar Gul ? seriously ? I wish and pray that the whole board is sacked and the ICC appoint a committee to have a democratic non-political cricket board in Pakistan. As for now, the incompetent management should be scaking Kamran Akmal who dropped so many cathces of Umar Gul and Irfan - they sitters... This man is a liability. Think about the impact of his poor wicket keeping on your bowlers, Kamran is responsible for losing the game 90%, of the time because he drops more catches than he ever takes. He is useless with DRS and never knows what to say... If you dont beleive me, watch the repeat telecast of the games. Let me remind the writer that it was Umar Gul who took 5 wickets for 6 runs in the T20, they only player in the world to do it twice
April 2, 2013 5:31 pm
Drop the lot of them, but you cant justify dropping Gul Dozer! Run the statistics and see how many wickets he would have had, if only, the fantastic Mr Akmal would have taken the catches. I think the Akmal group should be investigated for this, remember his case of consipracy against Younis Khan when he and his friends in the team swore and oath on Quran about getting him out of the side ?? It was only 2009 I believe ?? How can we trust him now ?
April 2, 2013 6:04 pm
Malik n Farhat will continue to play in pak team as long as there's direct or indirect influence or pressure from political leaders in PCB, regardless of their contribution or performances in the team (even Misbah is having a special soft corner for Malik). Regarding Kamran Akmal, he's far from being a world class wicket-keeper batsmen as other teams are having in this modern cricketing era BUT Pakistan really need to produce one which meets the requirements of wicket-keepers such as Dhoni, Sanga, De Villiers etc..
April 2, 2013 6:08 pm
Malik n Farhat will continue to play in pak team as long as there's direct or indirect influence or pressure from political leaders in PCB, regardless of their contribution or performances in the team (even Misbah is having a special soft corner for Malik). Regarding Kamran Akmal, he's far from being a world class wicket-keeper batsmen as other teams are having in this modern cricketing era BUT Pakistan really need to produce one which meets the requirements of wicket-keepers such as Dhoni, Sanga, De Villiers etc..
April 2, 2013 6:11 pm
good move by the selection commitee to oust yunus khan (mr. undependable) now other burdens of the team should show the door. selection commitee should think seriously for the future team. they should include some younster in the side and side line the so called stars from the team. test and shorter version side should be different.
April 2, 2013 6:27 pm
Ehsan Adil should be preferred over Gul. Gul should be the second choice. Afridi's replacement with new all rounder is justified. Afridi and Shoaib Malik should fight for the SPOT, or newcomer should get that SPOT also.
April 2, 2013 8:03 pm
It is a good time to show the door to remaining failures like Malik, Imran Farhat, Akmal brothers, Gul, Afridi, Hafeez and bring back young and performing blood like Hammad Azam, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sadaf Hussain, and Hasan Raza............I sure do hope these clowns who are running PCB get their act together and really do things for good of cricket and country..........................
April 2, 2013 8:06 pm
They are the biggest culprit in cricket.........these are the disease that killing Pakistan cricket and we need to get rid of these cancerous cell from Pakistan cricket body.............get rid of them once and for all.............Hopefully once Imran wins the election, he will take care of these culprits once and for all..................
April 2, 2013 8:10 pm
well Amir you need to compare the apple with apple not oranges since Shahid afridi has been playing for a lot longer than Misbah and his performance and average is far better than Afridi and most of all he is a reliable batsman than Afridi on any given day..............hopefully you got my point.........Afridi is past his prime and there are plenty of afridi in this great country of pakistan.......................
April 2, 2013 10:45 pm
Why Shoib Malik is still there? Bowling? We have Ajmal and Hafeez as two main off spinners and a thirld all rounder should be leg spin or medium pace. Pakistan missed a great chance to play Asad Shafiq, Umer Akmal and Haris Sohail in ODIs against India and SA. Now they have no choice but to make changes before CT.
April 3, 2013 12:47 am
Afridi , Kamran Akmal and Gul needs to go also. Give Harris, Umer Amin and Hammad proper chances and please get rid off wanna be Afridi (Umer Akmal) also. Enuff chances have been given to umer akmal.
April 3, 2013 5:22 am
People dont like Misbah due to his age and tuk tuk in semifinal and final against India.No matter what he does he has to retire now.Pakistan batting will always be average batting line up. I dont see any youngster playing like a mature batsman. Dropping Younis is not the answer.
April 3, 2013 6:48 am
I would rather enjoy the game with Lala Afridi in the team than having a winning comibination. All it comes to the charisma of a team. Remember, few years back we had brilliant players like Butt, Aamir, etc, but they lacked the charisma and trashed the green shirts for £sterlings and as a fan I was ditched in disgrace. So enjoy the game and always support our team rather than pinning players all the time. We did this with Waseem Akram, Waqar, and the list goes as far as the whims of fans and PCB is concerned
April 3, 2013 7:06 am
Check stats before writing, he has six odi hundreds. and for someone batting mostly at 7, that is not a bad statistic. he is incosistnet but so Shoab Malik, why is he in the team then?
April 3, 2013 7:09 am
"Faisal Iqbal is a youngster" ;)..
nasim khan
April 3, 2013 9:27 am
good idea
April 3, 2013 9:49 am
All top class batsmen have high conversion rate i.e. turning 50s into 100s and that requires a certain aggresiveness and mental strength. Misbah's batting as well as his captaincy are defensive by nature. Also, as a batting captain, he needs to lead from the front and when other batsmen are failing to score he needs score big i.e. 100s. Inzimam ul haq had the same problem. He was an excellent batsman but he did not promote himself up the order when other batsmen were failing around him.
No tolerence
April 3, 2013 10:05 am
Afridi has 6 hundreds bro!!!
April 3, 2013 11:18 am
I think you have to correct your record Afridi have 6 hundreds in ODI........
April 3, 2013 11:29 am
Dude first you need to improve your english writing skills . shahid afridi He cant ball , once in a blue moon he can bat , still cant finish the game. His place in team is a big Question mark and you thinking of handing him the captaincy.
April 3, 2013 2:41 pm
Gul sided then with Younas khan therefore for Akmal's, it makes sense to get rid of Gul by dropping his catches
April 3, 2013 5:06 pm
When afridi was the captain misbah never performed! Why should afridi perform for misbah when he's the captain?
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