DUBAI: Pakistan’s batting legend and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq believes that veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi deserves a proper farewell after serving the country for almost two decades.

Flamboyant Afridi was expected to be included as a 16th member in Pakistan’s squad for their Twenty20 series against the West Indies, which begins on Friday in the UAE.

The former captain had reportedly tried to convince the PCB to pick Afridi for the T20 series, so that the 36-year-old can play a game and announce his retirement. However, the PCB reportedly scrapped the idea.

“In my opinion, Afridi deserves to be given a farewell match so that he can announce his retirement properly and retire in a befitting manner,” Inzamam was quoted by The Hindu.

According to reports, PCB chief Shaharyar Khan and Inzamam had both given approval for Afridi’s inclusion. “Yes, it is correct that a decision was taken and approved by Shaharyar and Inzamam that Afridi would travel to the UAE as the 16th player and appear in the final [T20] match against the West Indies before announcing his retirement and going out gracefully,” a source said to PTI.

However, the plan was dismissed after Najam Sethi objected to the method of his selection, claiming if the selectors were confident he was good enough to represent the country, then he should be included in the 15-man squad.

“Sethi made a point that the board would be setting a wrong example by including Afridi as the 16th player just to give him a chance to play his farewell international match and it was also not befitting for such a senior player.

“Sethi’s argument is logical and he made it clear that he would speak to Afridi himself and settle the matter. Sethi will now meet Afridi in September and offer him the chance to accept a proper farewell event and announce his retirement,” the source added.

Published in Dawn September 22nd, 2016

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