Sports Magazine

Shahid Afridi Got Final Lifeline to Save His Career

By Azharnadeem

Shahid AfridiUnderperforming all-rounder Shahid Afridi has got the “last lifeline” to save his career after being named in the squad for next month’s one-day international series against South Africa.

The all-rounder, who was axed from the ODI leg of Pakistan tour of India in December last year following the series of below-par performances, has been included in the team in wake of his convincing bowling record against Proteas.

ShahidAfridi is also the part of Pakistan’s T20 squad that will play two shortest format games on March 1 and March 3 in Durban and Centurion respectively following the conclusion of ongoing Test series.

Left-arm quick Wahab Riaz, whose last played for Pakistan 11 months ago against India in Asia Cup, held in Bangladesh, retrieved the faith of selectors with his consistent performance in the first class-season.

Riaz’s gain became the loss of left-arm pacer Sohail Tanvir, who looked lackluster in the India tour..

Middle-order batsman Azhar Ali and spinner Zulfiqar Babar, who were part of India tour, have been replaced by Asad Shafiq and Abdul Rehman respectively.

Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said Shahid Afridi has proved his form and fitness Afghanistan XI, but he will have to justify his place in team otherwise he would be excluded from the team permanently.

“He (Afridi) played against Afghanistan, basically we wanted to assess his fitness and he is fully fit,” said Qasim. “They (South Africa) are playing well against fast bowling and our pacers are struggling, so having variety in spin will prove beneficial. The decision to pick Afridi is based on his quality of right-arm leg spin.

“I am not saying go and play him in the XI, my mind says we have to have some variety. Our task is to select the best lot to play against South Africa and Afridi has a role to play with his variety in his bowling.”

The five-match ODI series between the two sides will get underway at Bloemfontein on March 10.

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

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

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