Pakistan drops Afridi for ODIs against India

RIZWAN ALI
Last updated 09:57 11/12/2012

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Pakistan cricket selectors left out Shahid Afridi for the three one-day internationals against India while retaining the enigmatic allrounder for the two Twenty20s against its archrival.

Afridi, a veteran of 349 ODIs, played in 16 one-dayers in 2012 but scored only 182 runs with one half-century, against England at Dubai in February.

"If he performs in the Twenty20s then he can make a comeback into the one-day team," chief selector Iqbal Qasim said on Monday. "It was a difficult decision (to drop Afridi). He is a great player who can win matches, but in the interest of the team we have decided to left him out."

The selectors also dropped opening batsman Imran Nazir and allrounder Abdul Razzaq from both formats of the game after they played at the World Twenty20 earlier this year.

Qasim said both players were axed because the selectors wanted to look ahead.

"We are making team for future, so we didn't have space for them," he said.

Hard-hitting opening batsman Ahmad Shahzad made a comeback into the Twenty20 squad after impressing selectors in the domestic T20 championship, which concluded on Sunday.

Shahzad represented winners Lahore Lions and scored 391 runs in eight matches, including 107 against Bahawalpur Stags in the semifinals.

The selectors also rewarded to uncapped players Mohammad Irfan, Asad Ali and Zulfiqar Babar for their prolific performances in the domestic Twenty20.

Former captain Younis Khan and fast bowler Umar Gul, who were rested for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, made their way back into the one-day squad.

A training camp will be held in Lahore from December 13 before the team leaves for India on December 22. The series begins with Twenty20 games at Bangalore on December 25 and Ahmedabad on December 27. The one-day games are in Chennai on December 30, Kolkata on January 3 and New Delhi on January 6.

The last series between the two neighbors was when Pakistan visited India in November 2007. Cricket ties were broken after a 2008 terror attack in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed, with India blaming Pakistan for the tragedy.

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

One-day squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Harris Sohail, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Anwar Ali.

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- AP

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