Team sheet December 1, 2006

Afridi out: a triumph of stupidity

Shahid Afridi out
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Shahid Afridi's absence in the one-dayers may just be a turn-off for the fans © Getty Images

This is a World Cup year. Pakistan are about to play their final home one-day series before that tournament. The campaign needs to be relaunched with a sense of optimism and an aura of positivity. Conditions in Pakistan are likely to be closer to the West Indies than conditions in South Africa will be.

Your star player, your talisman, your aggressor, your match-winner needs to rediscover his confidence. A combination of the West Indian attack and home conditions are an ideal formula to reinvigorate your champion and your campaign. The decision looks straightforward. The selectors, though, leave him out. Shahid Afridi out? The mind boggles and the logic wobbles. Nice one. Another triumph of stupidity from the men who want to be paid to do an important job badly.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Faran Taher on January 17, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    PCB/Inzi/So-called Selectors need to be focused, If Pakis are going to make some noise WC2007, then the inclusion of Afridi/Akhtar is a no-brainer. People seem to overlook Afridi's fielding prowess, yet he stands out in Pakistan. Everyone seemingly forgets his knock in India and Pakistan. For the love of cricket, please bring him back and unleash him. Afridi single handedly becomes a problem for the Aussies, English, Indians & South Africans the remainder of the teams the Pakistan team can handle.

  • Ikram ur Rehman on January 11, 2007, 7:07 GMT

    i ve, to tell u one thing about afridi, he is the only man who can change the match,,,but do u know? only his prescence in his team can make a pressure on against team this why to drop afridi is a verry verry silly comments. and one thing more he is a bowler not a batsman he performed abetting in free becaz his job is to bowl,so to exect batting from afridi is not wiseness. we have to leave afridi 4 his own mind let him to do every thing .becaz whenever he blastt then dont think that he will not make match change.ikrammmmmmm

  • Jassim on December 21, 2006, 15:53 GMT

    As much as we loved to watch him thrash bowlers it is high time he steps down. Afridi has lost his mojo. He might not admit it, most of his hardcore fans wont (even though i am one too), but its down to two things now. either leave the international scene OR bounce back to those miracle days where bowlers would fear putting in a loose ball when he was on strike. I just hope he does well in the upcoming Twenty20. I do look forward to having our old Afridi back but till then its bye bye.

  • Imran Quraishi on December 13, 2006, 18:01 GMT

    I think that Afride should be permanently axed from playing for Pakistan cuz first of all he is not someone that you can rely upon all the time. He never clicks when the need comes and plays like he is playing club cricket. It would be the biggest mistake to include him in the team for South Africa and world cup cuz he is clueless against fast bowling and is an easy prey for fast bowlers. Every time he is included in the playing eleven the opponent fast bowlers are having a bowl.

  • Gibran Lalani on December 11, 2006, 23:40 GMT

    I noted earlier post that Afridi can be included on the basis of this bowling. In the last 5 matches for Habib Bank Afridi has taken 22 wickets at an average of under 10 and has made one 50 and one 100...what more can you ask of an allrounder in a 5 match series?

  • Syed A. Rizwan on December 9, 2006, 16:13 GMT

    Can anybody tell me when Afridi scored a Century or Half-Century last time? took 3, 4 or 5 Wickets last time? or take 2 or more catches / runout last time?

    Unfortunately many of you people unable to tell me because he did it these thing once-upon-a-time.

    So please tell him to perform in domestic cricket & then join the team.

  • Yamin Butt on December 7, 2006, 17:20 GMT

    Afridi is pakistans match winner full stop. Instead of discarding him they should be doing all they can 2 nurse him back to full form in time for the world cup. If afridi ticks Pakistans chances in the world cup will be huge

  • Faraz Ishaq on December 7, 2006, 16:37 GMT

    For me cricket is ths most passionate thing and if i am not wrong there are very few cricketrs are playing with killer instincts these days and one of those is Shahid Khan Afridi. I have seen him playing from the Galli Cricket from the streets of F B Area to TMC on club leve, from Pakistan U-19 against WI in WI to National Team. I consider him as most diversed player in modern cricket with handsome batting average and consistency in balling. And dropping him from the side for world cup will be the biggest injustice against him and to the whole nation. I want him in the team badly and he is the biggest entertainer in cricket these days, even bigger then Sachin and Lara. and one more thing I am sure HE WILL BE BACK during this series. He will be playing atleast in Karachi.

  • Ansar on December 6, 2006, 18:27 GMT

    I would say why not drop Akmal and use Younis as wicket keeper batsman and bring afridi back. I guess akmal needs some domestic cricket to improve its form. Because in recent matches neither his batting nor his keeping was upto par and since we have bowling attack is back.

  • Mohammad Aftab Ahmed on December 6, 2006, 13:41 GMT

    Since Shoaib and Asif are back, we have no choice but to drop Afridi from the startign 11. But I do believe he needs to in the team that travels to WI. Just not in the starting 11.

    Our '92 WC was won by specialists coming the fore - Akram, Inzi, and co. None of the allrounders lead us to victory, unless you count Imran Khan as an allrounder. And it wasn't his performance so much as his leadership that lead us to victory.

  • Faran Taher on January 17, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    PCB/Inzi/So-called Selectors need to be focused, If Pakis are going to make some noise WC2007, then the inclusion of Afridi/Akhtar is a no-brainer. People seem to overlook Afridi's fielding prowess, yet he stands out in Pakistan. Everyone seemingly forgets his knock in India and Pakistan. For the love of cricket, please bring him back and unleash him. Afridi single handedly becomes a problem for the Aussies, English, Indians & South Africans the remainder of the teams the Pakistan team can handle.

  • Ikram ur Rehman on January 11, 2007, 7:07 GMT

    i ve, to tell u one thing about afridi, he is the only man who can change the match,,,but do u know? only his prescence in his team can make a pressure on against team this why to drop afridi is a verry verry silly comments. and one thing more he is a bowler not a batsman he performed abetting in free becaz his job is to bowl,so to exect batting from afridi is not wiseness. we have to leave afridi 4 his own mind let him to do every thing .becaz whenever he blastt then dont think that he will not make match change.ikrammmmmmm

  • Jassim on December 21, 2006, 15:53 GMT

    As much as we loved to watch him thrash bowlers it is high time he steps down. Afridi has lost his mojo. He might not admit it, most of his hardcore fans wont (even though i am one too), but its down to two things now. either leave the international scene OR bounce back to those miracle days where bowlers would fear putting in a loose ball when he was on strike. I just hope he does well in the upcoming Twenty20. I do look forward to having our old Afridi back but till then its bye bye.

  • Imran Quraishi on December 13, 2006, 18:01 GMT

    I think that Afride should be permanently axed from playing for Pakistan cuz first of all he is not someone that you can rely upon all the time. He never clicks when the need comes and plays like he is playing club cricket. It would be the biggest mistake to include him in the team for South Africa and world cup cuz he is clueless against fast bowling and is an easy prey for fast bowlers. Every time he is included in the playing eleven the opponent fast bowlers are having a bowl.

  • Gibran Lalani on December 11, 2006, 23:40 GMT

    I noted earlier post that Afridi can be included on the basis of this bowling. In the last 5 matches for Habib Bank Afridi has taken 22 wickets at an average of under 10 and has made one 50 and one 100...what more can you ask of an allrounder in a 5 match series?

  • Syed A. Rizwan on December 9, 2006, 16:13 GMT

    Can anybody tell me when Afridi scored a Century or Half-Century last time? took 3, 4 or 5 Wickets last time? or take 2 or more catches / runout last time?

    Unfortunately many of you people unable to tell me because he did it these thing once-upon-a-time.

    So please tell him to perform in domestic cricket & then join the team.

  • Yamin Butt on December 7, 2006, 17:20 GMT

    Afridi is pakistans match winner full stop. Instead of discarding him they should be doing all they can 2 nurse him back to full form in time for the world cup. If afridi ticks Pakistans chances in the world cup will be huge

  • Faraz Ishaq on December 7, 2006, 16:37 GMT

    For me cricket is ths most passionate thing and if i am not wrong there are very few cricketrs are playing with killer instincts these days and one of those is Shahid Khan Afridi. I have seen him playing from the Galli Cricket from the streets of F B Area to TMC on club leve, from Pakistan U-19 against WI in WI to National Team. I consider him as most diversed player in modern cricket with handsome batting average and consistency in balling. And dropping him from the side for world cup will be the biggest injustice against him and to the whole nation. I want him in the team badly and he is the biggest entertainer in cricket these days, even bigger then Sachin and Lara. and one more thing I am sure HE WILL BE BACK during this series. He will be playing atleast in Karachi.

  • Ansar on December 6, 2006, 18:27 GMT

    I would say why not drop Akmal and use Younis as wicket keeper batsman and bring afridi back. I guess akmal needs some domestic cricket to improve its form. Because in recent matches neither his batting nor his keeping was upto par and since we have bowling attack is back.

  • Mohammad Aftab Ahmed on December 6, 2006, 13:41 GMT

    Since Shoaib and Asif are back, we have no choice but to drop Afridi from the startign 11. But I do believe he needs to in the team that travels to WI. Just not in the starting 11.

    Our '92 WC was won by specialists coming the fore - Akram, Inzi, and co. None of the allrounders lead us to victory, unless you count Imran Khan as an allrounder. And it wasn't his performance so much as his leadership that lead us to victory.

  • jimmy dhillon on December 6, 2006, 12:40 GMT

    HELLO Everybody.....what is wrong with you guys?? I can tell you one thing about Afridi" A LION IS ALWAYS A LION....AND HE WILL ALWAYS HUNT".....And Afridi's apetite for runs is not over yet.....The Lion is still starving...... I say Mr Wasim bari give the lion one more chance.......

    from vancouver

  • Muhammad Ali on December 6, 2006, 11:03 GMT

    Lols I m praying in favour of westindies. Y? ha ha ha Afraidi is not in the team. Isnt it ridiculous. I think he played brilliantly in westindies and then in india in tests and oneday matches but suddenly he was dropped from tests squad and he got disturbed. Since then he is not performing up to his level. And I blame this for only Inzamam my favourite player. Ahhhhhhhh R u agreee ??????????????????????????

  • Muhammad Uzair FROM ATTOCK-PAKISTAN on December 6, 2006, 11:00 GMT

    Shahid Afridi’s batting record in one-day international cricket matches is not attractive expect that his strike rate that is nearly 108. His batting average is just over 23, which is not good according to international standard. He improved his performance in last two years but his overall performance is poor especially against good teams. Most of the times in his career he lost his wicket by playing a lofted shot on mid-off or mid-on on short pitch bowling. However, in last two years he has come over on this fault to some extent. Majority of Pakistani cricket experts say that he should avoid playing these shots against short pitch bowling. However, some experts suggest he should play his natural game. I think that he should play his natural game but with responsibility. His batting record suggests that he has played 212 innings from Pakistan. In 108 of these 212 innings, his minimum strike rate is 100. In these 108 innings his batting average is 35.39 including 23 half centuries and four hundreds. Important thing, which all Pakistani cricket experts should note, that Pakistan has won 64 percent of these matches. Moreover, 27 innings of at least fifty runs from 108 innings give you an idea about that he performs consistently in attacking mode. On the other hand, 104 innings out of 210 in which his strike rate was below 100 his batting average is just 12 with only three half centuries. Moreover, Pakistan has won only 53 percent of these matches. You should note that in negative frame of mind, he scored just 3 half centuries in 102 innings. It confirms that he wastes his time on the pitch in defensive frame of mind. In addition, it is the main cause of its poor performance. According to regression, Pakistan can easily win a match with his innings of 60 runs. It means that Shahid Afridi’s 60 runs put the opponent team under enormous pressure and make the work easier for other Pakistani batsmen. We can realize that how much valuable his 60 runs are for Pakistani cricket team. Shahid Afridi has performed well in the last two years. I personally feel that Bob Woolmer has corrected his technique to some extent. Afridi definitely improved his hook and pull shots but he still cannot play a good cut shot. Due to this weakness, he gives away his wicket by playing a loose stroke out side the off-stump on lively pitches. It is necessary for him to improve this shot. I think he should seek advice from the former Pakistani batsman Ijaz Ahmad who had a very good command on this shot. I personally feel that his batting average will improved after having the ability of playing good cut shot. I hope that I will see a much-improved and reliable Shahid Afridi in near future.

  • Hassan Farooqi on December 6, 2006, 10:18 GMT

    hmm .... i've been reading quite a few posts already and seems to me that people are 1/2 and 1/2 split on their views. We have people 'against' Afridi based on the merits of statistics and 'for' Afridi because they tend to believe that he is Just That Good.

    To think about it, i don't go with statistics too much, because its often skewed. Numbers my friends don't tell you about stories. It doesn't matter if he scored 5 runs in a match, for my best bet if he scored a zero and saved 25 odd runs, Alas, he did played his part in the team now didn't he? And for all those people who agree with the PCB, i'm sorry to say, the PCB has more ups and downs in its tenure than Afridi has had all his life! One unit of the board claims its players to be on dope, whilst the other disagrees? Team play eh ?!hmm...

    It's funny that people don't realise, that in the recent tests, except for Muhammad Yousuf and Umar Gul, no one has performed. Younis Khan could probably be included in that short list if you may want to call it that, but NO ONE has performed! So would that mean we drop them, and bring in "New Consistent Talent". And how many of you actually want to watch Inzamam and Younis Khan batting ?! There isn't anything wrong with that. But i'd like to ask everyone reading this post, who does the opposition fear more? Younis Khan or Shahid Afridi? ... Umar Gul or Shoaib Akhter.

    It's not about the bling or about the flashiness of Afridi or Shoaib, but its the feeling that they bring to that field. It's the adrenaline rush of every Pakistani person watching the game at home or in the stands, and shoot me down if i am wrong !

    I agree with Kamran. And just because i said that people will disagree with me. It's funny how people look at statistics as mere numbers to decide the fate of a player. Mind you, that should have made Michael Bevan the immortal Cricketing batsman? South Africa did not play Jonty Rhodes cos he could bat or bowl. They played him cos he could field. And he did a damn good job of it.

    I am not as big an Afridi fan as other people that have written above me. But for certainty i can say, i'd rather have him in the team, than not, because when he gets down 2 it ... whether on the field, or pleading the team to take him to a bigger ground, because this one wasn't big enough, all those people who voted him off, will be stuck to the television chanting 'Pakistan Zindabad' or whatever else they please to chant.

    Mind you, i have not said he is a consistent player, but you won't find any player like him on the field, boosting the moral up, placing fear in the hearts of best bowlers in the world, and keeping the batsman retardedly perplexed as to how fast Afridi will throw the ball at their stumps ! ...

  • Hasham on December 6, 2006, 9:58 GMT

    To all those who are saying that recent form of Afridi is not good i would like to point out one thing.In ICC champions trophy we made him play on the spot which was resrved for Inzi,This is for sure that Afridi can not play on Inzi's position,he is best for lower order or you may use him in power plays with a mission.I think Younis Khan has done a mistake and unjustice by adding extra pressure to Afridi sending him on a critical position which added to his bad Form.But i agree with kamran this series was a best chance for afridi to get back in form .

  • Imran Ali on December 6, 2006, 9:31 GMT

    good decision i like this one because he is not performing for a long and he does not deserve to be in the team and if he doesnot perform domestically he should not be included in south african tour or the world cup because if one is nt performing the you are playing with 10 players not with 11 it is better to play a player that performs consistantly then the player that performes once in a year once again this is good decision i totally agree

  • Faiz on December 6, 2006, 9:29 GMT

    I think it's a very ridiculous decision by the PCB to leave out Afridi from the ODI series. He's the best for ODIs. And mind you the selection committee guy is not there for being paid for such a commending job, he's there to be paid for just signing on the dotted lines...

  • jimmy dhillon, canada on December 6, 2006, 9:22 GMT

    Everybody, please taake a break and read this..... Mr kamran has exactly told the truth about Afridi and all the cricket fans around the world wanted him to play even if he is not scoring the runs.....But it is good for Afridi to play in home conditions to get his form back......we( millions of Afridi fans around the world) think that he is the most exciting player to watch in action......some people talk about Lara, tendulkar, Gayle, Gillchrist or even Dhoni are good players......certainly they are......But guys compare a stroke from Afridi's bat and all others, no doubt the it will exciting to watch Afridi's........if you do not agree.....its not your fault because things are not right with Afridi right now but he will show all of you what he is capable of......one big innings and i will show you that all of you guys will be singing one name...AFRIDI...AFRIDI!!!!

    from vancouver

  • Faisal on December 6, 2006, 8:55 GMT

    Please Remove WASIM BARI. This guy has no vision about talent and Cricket. He is the same man who selected World Cup 2003 team. A Selector should have a Vision. AMIR SOHAIL has a vision as a selector. He gave talents like Yasir Hameed, Asim Kamal, Salman Butt,Muhammad Hafeez,Umar Gul, Rana Naved, brought back Shabbir Ahmed, Shoaib Malik and many more. How many players has Wasim Bari given to Pakistan as a selector. Besides that he is also destroying proven talent like Asim Kamal, who after scoring 8 50's in 11 test is sitting out for more than an year. His selection lacks logic. Beside Afridi he also dropped Shahid Nazir, who deserves a place in Pakistan 11. Just a year ago in early 2005, he selected Muhammad Khalil over Shahid Nazir for test matches in India and Muhammad Khalil contributed to Pakistans loss in Calcutta. He has now removed Shahid Afridi, though according to me at this time Pakistan should play players who will be participating in World Cup So its a request from PCB to remove WASIM BARI and save Pakistan team from this Non logical selector

  • Owais Ahmad on December 6, 2006, 8:36 GMT

    Spot on Euceph Ahmed (though I remember disagreeing with him in some other chain), Ashaq, Uzair Farooqi, Ali Asim, Osman Khairi, Hamza and ofcourse my own previous comment ! I think PCB did the right thing by dropping him, we have so many players knocking at the door and its time we gave new faces some more opportunity.

  • jewaan on December 6, 2006, 7:21 GMT

    Good desicion! I can't beleive people are here comparing Abdul Razzaq with Afridi. There is no cmparison, whatsoever. Abdul Razzaq has won most game for us in recent history beside Inji, Wasim, and Waqar. and one little reply to waleed qazi bhai

    jab chalta hai to bowler ki tokh kar rakh daita hai werna pura pakistan team or fan ki tokh daita hai I do not understand how can you take off Shahid Nazir and put back Naveed, and Sami.

  • Omer Izhar on December 6, 2006, 7:05 GMT

    I think Afridi should play domestic games, perform then i am sure he will be selected for the SA away series. Dont forget he has single handedly won games for Pakistan...once he and Razzak gets going then its all misery for the ballers...id love to see Bret Lee get some battering from Afridi. All the best Pakistan for the world cup.

  • Owais Ahmad on December 6, 2006, 6:59 GMT

    I am really disappointed in Kamran's comments and lot of fans of boom-boom-afridi. Even when Afridi is in prime form, he plays brilliantly (though streakily) in one innings and fails in two innings. Quality all rounders/middle-lower order batsmen like Symonds, Gilly, Dhoni and to some extent Razzaq have a better success rate. I would go for someone who makes me 30 runs in 30 balls every other innings instead of someone who makes 40 in 20 balls and than flops 3 times. When has Afridi delivered under pressure ? when did he come at 27 for 6 and did something to push the score beyond 75 ??? Guys get a life, and go for something trustworthy instead of pure madness. I think Afridi should be set aside for at least a year and see if he improves or other players do not show good performance.

  • Chaudhry, Noor on December 6, 2006, 5:43 GMT

    good job pcb they are right on this one but i think they do favorism to some other player and i can mention is inzi he has had enough chances but clearly the lion has got too fat to hunt and is draging himself to the world cup what a sad man he is bcome...

  • Naseer on December 6, 2006, 5:37 GMT

    well, I totally agree with Kamran abbasi it is best opportunity to replinesh Afridi with home conditions. it is quite boggling decision by the selectors, also he should be placed in opening slat to get an aggresive start, current openers are also not able to give a good start then why not Shahib Afridi I think he is better than Imran farhat for having extra priceless commodities. and if he bats will then Pak is difinite winner. the decision of his exclusion does not make any sense we hope to see him before soon as opener perishing the bowling attacks.

  • A.R.Zaidi on December 6, 2006, 5:21 GMT

    Kamran, i have been following as a Radio commentator and cricket lover Afridi's rise and falls. He is soooooooooo unpredictable and a man who never learns from his mistakes.{ Is playing for the gallery so important that u forget about your country and team?}. I acknowledge that he has at times played wonderfully well too for Pakistan both in Test matches and ODI's yet his performance in general has left a lot to be desired. This is not only his fault but coach needs to be held respnsible for his failures too. There was only one time when Javed Miandad was the coach on tour to India , and he groomed Afridi through good coaching to score a sparkling century. I think Bob Woolmer could not coach Afridi properly during last one year. I am of the firm opinion that Afridi should be a member of Pakistan's ODI team as an all rounder and a great fielder. He has the ability to swing the games in his team's favour in one over! I diagree with selectors and the skipper for dropping him from ODI side against West Indies. He should be a MUST for the Pakistan team for the World Cup. Afridi is an asset , please dont waste him. Bill Lawry once said " Afridi can walk into any test/ODI playing country's first Eleven". So PCB needs to handle him with care. Don't forget to include him in the team for remaining ODI's against West Indies and then South Africa. And Bob u need to work on him , need to cool him down!

  • Ram on December 5, 2006, 23:07 GMT

    Smart move to drop Afridi. In the first case, it was smart decision NOT to give him a leadership position. Look at how tricky it was to sack Sehwag in India. He should have gone from the team itself long time ago. But, you know, how it works in India (or Pakistan for that matter...). Both players bet ridiculously on luck. The other one that should have also gone is Yuvraj Singh. It's only an injury that forced him to the sidelines. But he will be back, I am afraid. Thanks to Punjabi guile. Well, you guys in Pakistan know that as well... Having rambled all that, my question is WHEN will South Asian cricket be rid of stupid - yes, STUPID - politicians and bureaucrats?! When will we rid oursleves of parochialism, feudalism, and fanaticism. I have na answer: invest in other sports. Put a lot of money, build your infrastructure, teach kids from ground up. In elementary schools. Instead of consigning them to stupid madrassas or grooming them to be IT coolies (study, study, study...We Don't Need This rutta-maro-education).

  • RIZWAN on December 5, 2006, 22:47 GMT

    Afradi may not be performing at his best, but he has the potential to come back with a bang. He also brings positive energy to the field and that is important. I really feel Pakistan will need Afradi (in his elements) if there is any chance for them to win the World Cup nest year. This is the time he should be in the team...

  • Gibran on December 5, 2006, 21:26 GMT

    Everyone here seems to talking about getting more specialists into the team - we tend to forget that there are very few top quality ODI specialists in Pakistan. In fact if PCB put a gun to my head (seems like many of their decisions are made with an AK-47 pointed at their head; I would choose Afridi as a strong candidate for an ODI batting specialist. He in many ways true ODI specialist. While Afridi is rash; I believe Yasir Hameed's tendancy to fish at deliveries outside off makes him as rash, Farhat (althought has had a good run recently) has had the same problem with deliveries outside off. No matter how horrible Afridi's past form has been; on any given day there is chance that he will win the match single handedly with his batting - additionally he is sure to bowl 10 overs for 30-45 runs - which is as good as any specialist bowler - he has knack for breaking partnerships and is an outstanding fielder. One good Afridi innings demoralizes the opposition, giving you a definitely psychological advantage for the rest of the series or tournament. Afridi should not only be playing; he should open the batting. I say to the PCB - unleash the monster - he is wild and cannot be tamed.

  • Yaqoob on December 5, 2006, 21:16 GMT

    What no amount of statistics will measure is the psychological impact of having Afridi in the team. With such a potentially destructive and explosive match winner in the team he brings that spark that can simply not be quantified. Batting lower down in the order, no opposition team can be comfortable until they have taken his wicket. Granted he is a maverick, somewhat impulsive, but in my view a priceless commodity for the team. Whilst he is at the crease its fireworks he provides. How many followers of Pakistan cricket who put on the kettle when Afridi is out there in the middle? Who else provides us with such entertainment?

  • Zaka Sheikh on December 5, 2006, 21:00 GMT

    Those who admire Afridi so much need their heads examined. He is just a flash in the pan. Don't just look at his strike rate which can be very good if he scores 2 runs first ball and gets out the next. Look at his average.

    In any sport one plays the player needs to use his head. Afridi is a brainless cricketer.

  • Uzair Farooqui on December 5, 2006, 20:28 GMT

    This is a step in the right direction. PCB should be doing this more often. You can't keep playing some one because they once performed OR can perform on a given day. To all those here saying it is riduculous or bad decision to drop Afridi, please wake up !!! some one who is labeled "Boom Boom" and only scores 114 runs in 17 ODIs have been given all the chances to "Perform on a given day". In Afridi's case... those given days have long said bye bye. He has not performed with bat and/or ball to be holding a critical slot in the team. I would sacrifice more than this worldcup to find his replacement.

    Next please close Mohd. Sami's chapter for good and send Rana Naved back to domestic/county cricket to regain his edge.

  • Asim Ali Fida on December 5, 2006, 19:40 GMT

    Very dissapointing to see Afridi not in the squad announced for the One dayers. He is one of those players who can win a match for you single- handedly. Its true that he has been in poor form lately but with World cup right in the corner his inclusion was a must in this series. Still its not too late he can be added in the team right now as well.

  • ZAIN UL HAQUE on December 5, 2006, 17:15 GMT

    The ongoing debate on Afridi's exclusion from the ODI team has enraged both his critics from both sides. I jus wanna say that Afridi's exclusion have come @ the wrong time. This is the last home series Pakistan are to play b4 da WC 2007 and axing him right now is impractical. Instead his exclusion should have come at the beginning of the year as he did'nt perform in the home series against India @ all.

  • Raza on December 5, 2006, 16:10 GMT

    The guy who made 114 runs in his last 17 innings has been left out of the team .. WOO .. what a surprise!!!

  • waleed qazi on December 5, 2006, 16:01 GMT

    well......i dont care what has been the permormance of afridi but all i know is that ....jab chalta hai to bowler ki tokh kar rakh daita hai.

  • Tauhira on December 5, 2006, 16:00 GMT

    Ommitting Afridi may mean good for the W.I.! One the other hand, he hasn't been performing up to scratch ... so it isn't such a big deal.

    [Tauhira from Jamaica]

  • Saif on December 5, 2006, 11:32 GMT

    i m very disappointed with this decision. 'coz u know Afridi is like a Gamble ... if he gets going, then there is No better sight in Cricket, but more often than not, u expect him to be a 'dud' explosive. If his inclusion pays-off in the team, then its a Eid Bonus, else atleast u wont be disappointed after all these yrs of Afridi (as we have come to expect his failures). But, nevertheless, he is definitely a Utility Cricketer, if he doesn't do with the bat, then he can make up for it with the ball, or atleast we can always use a Good Fielder on the field any day. Anyways, his exclusion can only mean that he is Not in Pakistan's World Cup Plan, 'coz if he is still in sights for World Cup team, then dropping him is indeed amongst the Most Stupidest of idea ever by our selectors. Reason for that is quite simple, Afridi is only suited to sub-continental pitches and perhaps West Indies even (as they are somewhat similar to ours), and Afirdi is bound to fail in SA, Aus and Eng, where even our more prominent batsmen also struggle. So, taking him to SA (esp. after dropping him here, i.e. with no intl. match practice) will again be a Major Blunder and Mishandling of Afridi's talent. And then, u can't expect him to perform in The World Cup in his very first intl. match after such a long break. So it is perhaps very likely that board has set its eyes beyond Afridi, and now he will need to work doubly-hard to gain his place back in the team. But, with that said, on any busy day, i'll always stop for an Afridi innings (and also a Shoaib's Spell). Cheers to everyone on news of uplifting of ban from Asif and Shoaib. Congrats all around. A Good Day in Pakistan's Cricket. though, i dont think they should be selected for Pakistan team in the on-going Home ODI Series against West Indies, as they both would be out of any match practice (or even any training, as Asif himself put). they need some time to put their thoughts together and prepare themselves mentally for the upcoming challenges i.e. SA tour and The World Cup. ALLAH Hafiz.

  • Hassan Abbas on December 5, 2006, 9:27 GMT

    Well, after reading so many posts, I remember the time when Afridi was picked for the Australian tour exactly two years back, when someone put up a voice against his inclusion in the team in an orkut cricket community. Incidently, I was the only one in favour of picking up Afridi in the squad and eventually we all saw how brilliantly he performed against Australia. For all those people who keep saying that he is out of form and is averaging just 8 this year with the bat, I think u hav forgotten that he is an all-rounder and he has the best economy rate for Pakistan in the last one year (4.56/over) behind Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Hafeez, Hafeez ofcourse has not played too many matches this year. This was the only oppurtunity for him to gain some confidence with his bat and as far as performing domestically is concerned, he has got 15 wickets in 3 matches with his average under 10 with the ball. So, he is performing his primary role well that is to bowl maximum for his team. Remember guyz afridi bowls 10 overs in every onedayer so that makes it his priamary role. I sincerely hope that the selectors start to think straight and rather than axing senior players they try to solve our opening problem which I think is the fault of the selectors and not the coach as we have a lot of openers in domestic cricket out of which we iteratively give chance to only 4 players (we know their names , dont we). I commend you Kamran Abbasi for picking up an important issue. One thing that has gone in favor of Pakistan cricket today is that Shoaib and Asif have been cleared (A sane decision afterall), so congratulations!!! and cheers.

  • Tazeen on December 5, 2006, 6:49 GMT

    If recent bad form is the reason for Afridi being left out, then Inzi should be out too. Its just that people love to hate characters that are larger than life and Afridi too I believe is bearing the burnt of it. I hope that sanity prevails and he is selected back. You don’t have that many match winners and there are some people who should be included in the side, even if it is just to put some fear of God in the opponents.

  • waseem on December 4, 2006, 21:24 GMT

    although shahid afridi has not been in spectacular form recently it is still a rather hasty decision to leave him out as the world cup is around the corner and in terms of ODIS shahid afridi is one man who every bowler fears he can single handlely win matches with his ruthless approach while batting and those leg spinners are more then useful as he always seems to break partnerships and gets big wickets aside from this he is an excellent fielder and just his presence is enough to send tremors in the oppositions dressing room,,, everyone involved in selection listen up get him involved now and reignite his promising career or you will later subject yourself to self flaggellation.

  • Hussain on December 4, 2006, 17:58 GMT

    I don't know why people label Hafeez as an allrounder. He is a specialist batsman who can bowl. Not in the same league as Shoaib,Razzaq and Afridi. I think these three need to be in the One-day team at least. Only if we had Mohammad Asif in the squad, we would have been the best one day team at least on paper.

  • Arvind on December 4, 2006, 12:15 GMT

    I think afridi doesnt deserve a place in pak team. Already there are three all rounders in hafeez,malik and razzaq. I think they need to pick asim kamal or a specialist batsmen in his place.No other country will pick afridi for the way he has been playing

    arvind

  • zulfiqar ali on December 4, 2006, 12:08 GMT

    afridi should work hard .to perfrom well in s.a is very important for him to be part of pak. world cup team. as imran used to say best answer for critism is performance. i am sure that afridi will not only regain his lost spot in the side but also let his bat and bowling do the talking for him .he is too good a player to be ignored for long. i am sure he will bounce back.

  • Shehzad Ghani on December 4, 2006, 11:25 GMT

    Mind boggling it is, that you are still supporting Afridi. Fine, he will find form in this ODI series, but will he keep it till the next one starts? His talent is limited.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa Gujranwala on December 4, 2006, 9:48 GMT

    Can anyone remember when Shahid Afridi made a big score? I dont remember any big score from Shahid Afridi since that 46 ball hundred against India. Is it really worth keeping a batting position occupied by such inconsistent a player as Afridi is? Out of more than two hundred matches he has been played in, he has performed well in only half a dozen of them. Four centuries in more than two hundred attempts is a highly inconsisitent conversion rate. Even I can also make as many good scores if provided with chances so lavishly. Afridi has no technique and no control over his shots. When he bats, it appears as if he is just swinging his bat wildly at every delivery, a clean contact sends it out of the ground and one not so clean leaves it in the hands of some fielder. He has not defense at all and a very flawed batting technique. If the authorities really want to bring in a blaster, they need to search the nooks and corners of the country and may come across anyone like Sehwag or Gayle who are real blasters. Afridi is nought.

  • asim raza on December 4, 2006, 7:34 GMT

    well, when Afridi comes for bat,bowlers become happy that we,ll get wicket, n when gayle comes for the bat bowlers scared n think how to make him out.Gayle 160 matches,with average of 40, n 16 hundreds,5000 runs,n gangester of cricket Afridi,250 matches,average of 30,4000 runs,n 4 hundreds,my point is this, still our team management backs him, y?he can plan his inning now,he should know, what situation,what bowler,n what i have to adjust,we yell on afridi b coz his our hero, we love him, but he should not think him self.we always pray for him,we want his highest oneday intl score,most centuries, but sensibily. asim raza, Rawalpindi

  • raj on December 4, 2006, 7:09 GMT

    As an Indian who watched in horror as Afridi smote one blow after another on the hapless Indian bowlers a couple of years ago, it is baffling. Still, I remember moaning at that time that "Look, this guy wille ventually be dropped in a couple of years- and will make a timely comeback for the next India series to blow us off". Guys, if you have to drop Afridi, please do it in the series against India. Please.

  • Omer Admani on December 4, 2006, 3:28 GMT

    Faraz, I stand by my opinion that star-like attraction should not play any role in his selection. Apart from that, in stats and achievement, Afridi doesn't equal Pieterson, Jaysuriya, and the like by a margin. In any case, I have some stats to put things in perspective in so far as the comparison between Afridi and Razzaq is concerned. I am quoting one-ay statistics: Playing for Pakistan, Razzaq averages 30.91 while batting and 29.91 while bowling. Afridi averages 23.39 with the bat, while 36.40 with the bowl. Meanwhile, versus West Indies, Razzaq averages 23.12 and 23.80 in batting and bowling respectively, whereas Afridi averages 19.08 and 33.38. Away from home (Since the world cup is in West Indies), Razzaq averages 32.74 and 25.52, while the latter has averages of 21.83 and 29.36. Meanwhile, in 2006, Razzaq averages 39.8(!!) and 34.85 whereas Afridi bats with 8.14 runs a match and concedes 39.12 runs per wicket while bowling. Moreover, Afridi is no more a man for the big occasion either. In world cups, Razzaq has a batting and bowling average of 20.69 and 30.78 respectively, whereas Afridi manages 10.9(!) and 64.75 (!!). Meanwhile, since the 2003 world cup Razzaq has become a better batsman with an average of about 36/37 (Not far from Inzamam's career average). Afridi's average, in this regard, is not much (less than 20). Another interesting Statistic is the contibution under pressure to get Pakistan to win eventually: Razzaq's batting and bowling averages in matches won by Pakistan are 40.44 and 23.36 compared to Afridi's 28.55 and 27.77. Clearly, a larger and better contribution is made more regularly by Razzaq when Pakistan wins. Besides, Razzaq bats down the order, so none of his innings are usually in vein ( If batting second, batting late and under pressure, while scoring fast when batting late in the first innings). I don't recollect Afridi standing up in Australia (have you got any of his performances to justify that claim?). Personally I think it should not even be a matter of debate whether Razzaq is better or Afridi. Significantly, though, recent averages demand that Afridi should be replaced, or there is no justice for the other.

  • Chunko on December 4, 2006, 2:27 GMT

    I urge PCB to reverse his decision and bring Afridi back! Why not Younis who does not deserve to be in ODI side. Not only Younis has poor batting record in ODIs, but also the way he handled the game against SA in recent ODI champions Trophy in India: 1) Inability to bowl SA out when they were 42/5. SHAME! 2) Not to let poor Umerl Gul (and other pace bowlers on pacy wicket) to complete his 10 overs. UNBELIEVABLE! 3) Total irresponsible shot to throw his own wicket. IRRESPONSIBLE!

    Why not any action against him? Why they are kicking Afridi out who by all means better than Younis!!!

  • Adu on December 4, 2006, 2:23 GMT

    Typical Pakistan, they seem content on destroying themselves.. first Akhtar and Asif issue and now Afridi, yet a guy like Inzimam is still in the squad, which is mind boggling seeing that he is a huge liability in the field as a captain and as a fielder.

    I personally believe this is all doing of Bob Woolmer, mind u his contract is almost up.. he figures his job is done and now wants to leave this this team limping, unreal.

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on December 3, 2006, 19:52 GMT

    The right decision! You just cannot keep on playing Russian Roulette with having a player like him in the side. Yes he will get the odd fifty in 50 ODI's but thats too far and too few between.

    Afridi should should be disposed in the dust bin of history.

  • Amyn Habib on December 3, 2006, 19:09 GMT

    Fans of Afridi should actually be encouraged by his exclusion from the current team. This is a brilliant move by Wasim Bari to ensure Afridi’s inclusion in the World Cup team. Bari knows well that if Afridi plays the current ODI series against the West Indies and he fails (the risk is quite high as even his fans know) it will be difficult to justify his inclusion in the World Cup given his recent record. The risk will be even greater if he plays against SA. The best way to keep Afridi in the World Cup team is to keep him out of the ODI team until the World Cup. It is likely that the team will do poorly in SA. In the aftermath of that tour, Afridi can be confidently reintroduced into the team. By the way, many have claimed in this forum that Afridi is a great match winner. Could someone tell us how many times he has been awarded the man of the match award in his long ODI career (233 ODIs).

  • miStamaLik on December 3, 2006, 18:08 GMT

    Shahid Afridi holds many records, but we must remember; a current decision cannot be based on the past. It has to be the present...

    Actually... no, I'm wrong. Afridi is one of the most exciting crickiters I ever seen in my entire life. I dunno why the PCB would take him out..

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 3, 2006, 18:06 GMT

    SHAHID AFRIDI & SELECTORS

    Usman samiuddin has written a new article on Shahid Afridi and airing similar views as Kamran Abbassi. I have been saying the same thing and so are a million other Afridi fans and ALL of them cannot be wrong in saying that it is a BAD decision on part of the selectors to drop Afridi at home against the West Indies side, especially when Pakistan will be playing the world cup in 2007 at the Caribbean pitches.

    It is indeed very sad that the selectors do not think like an ordinary person, they think they are super humans who are above the rest of us and they are never wrong. Whereas, the truth is they are always wrong, because they don't think. They select the team or the players on the basis of personal likes and dislikes.

    Afridi a pathan by nature may not be a "yes-man" towards his superiors. Younis Khan is an exception among the Pathans that he got in time and he knows which side of the bread he needs to apply butter. Afridi, he is a positive cricketer who instills energy in the game, on the ground, among his team mates and in the crowd and spectators, he creates fear in the minds of the opposition when he is batting. When he is on a song there is no stopping.

    His 5 test hundreds and 4 ODI hundreds......Pakistan has won every single match in which he scored a hundred. It is a 100% win, win record. NO other player has achieved this feat besides his 37/100 and his deadly leg spin, so far he took 193 wickets besides scoring 4800 odd runs in ODI's.

    If a player who possess such a class and if he is not performing well in the past few matches cannot be dropped or dumped for not scoring enough runs......thats because they have been playing yo-yo with his batting order.

    15 wickets in 3 matches is no joke its an excellent performance as a bowler. Look at Younis Khan he scored less than Afridi in all three matches in India recently at the Champions Trophy, yet he is in the team. Look at Inzi's poor form, he looks more dull and subdued as a batsman and as a captain. Look at Kamran Akmal's continued pathetic performance as a batsman and as a wicket keeper he has dropped so many simple and regulation catches, why is he in the team?

    Why Afridi? Why do they have to axe him every time? Why are they making him a an escape goat for others?

    I want you Usman samiuddin AND Kamran Abbassi to sign a petition and bring back Afridi and I can assure you there will be thousands and thousands of emails to support AFRIDI.

  • anwar ...LOS ANGELES, USA on December 3, 2006, 18:03 GMT

    afridi,is out of ODI..?...hard to believe...but,one should know that PCB..is managed and run by...super duper ideots...afridi is one guy..other teams are worried about...none of them are worried about shoaib, and razzaq ...wasim bari is doing an outstanding job , by ruining pakistan star player...afridi is one player that can win the world cup single handedly for pakistan...if midgets of cricket,like bari and comapny ...do not drop him every two or three months....come on... ...wake up wasim bari...let afridi play...

  • CricketPakistan on December 3, 2006, 16:51 GMT

    Afridi is a good player but since his announcement of retirement his form has really dipped and it seems as though he is uninterested. Maybe the real reasons for his retirement should be talked through and dealt with.

  • yeasir on December 3, 2006, 16:39 GMT

    why should afridi be out?though he has not played well in the past matches.i think he should be given a last chance to play oneday with the west indies i understand he haven't played well but he should get a last chance and i do wanna see him back in the field for a last time.

  • Mohammed Ashique on December 3, 2006, 16:23 GMT

    I think its bad news to Pakistan cricket team and who and not selected Afridi in the ODI squad. He is good player and bowler also.He had not done good perfomence but also he had experience with the westindies a bit long and he had saved many matches to the pakistan from lossing the game.however he is bland heater but his bowling is not blind and he is leg spiner which is quite good to the pakistan teaam.I think PCB had done bad decision again.

  • Faraz on December 3, 2006, 13:37 GMT

    Omer, thanks for your agreement-disagreement however speculation just does'nt cut it. Please quote actual bowling/batting numbers before undermining an all rounder over a specialist leg break bowler in Kaneria, a man who for three test series running has failed to take the much touted trump card role for Pakistan. And NO it is'nt a trial --you are incorrect to go with that kind of legbreak bowler into the preparation and the world cup itself AND times up for trials don't you think??

    Now, when it comes to giving credit to Shahid Afridi, you seem to have forgotten his many memorable innings and bowling performances especially in the recent past on the home-and-home series with India; also let us also keep in mind Afridi's penchant for Carribean attack--which can come in more than handy in the ongoing series and world cup preparation.

    FACTS: For the record, there was no "Abdul Razzaq to the rescue" in the series in India ---It was Afridi working the magic of his legsping to get wickets--that of Tendulkar and Ganguly only to have played a vital role before in his firey 50 plus to give Pakistan a chance of levelling the series in India and then at home(Pakistan) to have averaged over 100 in the three tests---Super stats -- all conveniently forgotten by you and the rest of the nay-sayers.

    Let me remind you that it was Afridi and not Razzaq or company, who mounted a resistance in the Aussie tour year and a half back ...and it is vitally important for us to revisit that stark and shallow time of crude realities -- a time of Inzy's face saving injury faking body trembling shameful personnfication---you get the rest of the song eh?...NO Inzy hid from everyone while Afridi took on Brett Lee, McGrath and the likes.

    So why not make other players sit out and think about their recent failures or incapabilities..why is the axe falling on Afridi alone.

    Afridi is such a crowd magnet...he is like the star of the show -- Afridi, Shaoib, Pietersen, Lee, Dhoni, Jayasuria are players of modern cricket...without any of these and a few others one feels a void in the realms of the cricketing world...WE NEED TO BRING HIM BACK !

  • Gary Niblock on December 3, 2006, 12:20 GMT

    I have no time for players in the side who show no regard to the team cause - Afridi gives his wicket away - I want guys who fight for the country. Rana is a better batsman at 8 - run wise and responsibility wise and Kaneria can come in at 11 - world class spinner like Mushtaq in 1992.

    Same old match winner nonsense from this website - I challenge any cricinfo writer to name a greater "match winner" than TEAM AUSTRALIA. If unable, please only cover sports like darts where individuals are involved not teams.

  • khawar on December 3, 2006, 12:11 GMT

    afridi n shoaib akhter iz ma jaaan' n now they both are out of the team...NO cricket without them reli bt afridi should know tht whn he dont perform wel ...how iz fans all over the world feel... he should learn a lesson Gud luck afridi n plz pray 4 shoaib akhter plz

  • omar hussain on December 3, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    I believe Afridi is a genuine match-winner but he is also human and accordingly he is bound to lose form here and there.So he has to prove his form and fight back his place.I further believe a lack of application and responsibility has a lot to do with his poor form.A professional always tries his best to counter difficulties of form not to throw in the towel.Afridi is now of age to abandon his happy-go-luckt attitude: i hope he comes back fighting for there is none so spectacular when he is in form.good luck to the man!!

  • Abdullah K. on December 3, 2006, 7:24 GMT

    I am not here to criticize anyone in any way or form but don't you think that PCB is taking quick decisions. However, i think that this is a right decision to have him sit and think about what he needs to do to help his team out. I dont think there is a bigger Afridi fan than me but even i think this is the right decision. Looking into the past whenever afridi has come back from a break, he has done well and this could be that time again. I believe in Afridi and am sure he will turn things around. I would be shocked if he isn't picked for the world cup and that might lessen Pakistani hopes becuase without him there will be missing pieces in the team. he is a big game horse and he will come good. Inshallah.

  • Javed on December 3, 2006, 6:08 GMT

    Dropping Afridi at this critical juncture is insane. Who are you playing for him? Faisal Iqbal???? He has shown that he can bowl if not bat each time he is in the middle. in his last 10 plus outings, he had been great with the ball. writing off him at this time is not wise at all. May be after the worldcup, if he doesn't perform at all, he should be shown the door.

  • WAQAS on December 3, 2006, 6:04 GMT

    AFRIDI....??? a name every1 knows and relate to when either talking about cricket or playing it. Dropping Afridi was a decision that had to be made, there r many a players PAKISTAN have that can be good for us, depending on 1 person is foolish by any team as well fans. unless he regains his form back or show some promising attitude towards batting he should stay out of cricket, just like Silly Shoaib.

  • Humayun Mirza on December 3, 2006, 5:57 GMT

    I am so ambivalent about Afridi. My heart says he should play and that too at the top of the order when he can take advantage of the fielding restrictions. But my mind says this is wishful thinking - he will simply throw his wicket away senselessly in a display of immaturity. Like Ashraful of Bangladesh, he can be equated with Eid too - "twice a year but loads of fun". I just hate to see his talent wasted! On a side note, what is this preoccupation that foreign teams have with pitches in Pakistan? After all pitches producing results in two out of three tests over a full five days cannot be that bad. And who says that the true measure of a batsman or bowler can only occur on bouncy wickets! If one is that good at their trade then they should be able to counter low bounce and sluggishness of a pitch as well. What do you think?

  • zulfiqar ali on December 3, 2006, 5:55 GMT

    failure ,lack of form, having being dropped and regaining the place in the team are all part and parcel of the life of a modern professional cricketer. but a decision to drop someone ,who is in his 20,s and a proven matchwinner,and that is also for a series before world cup is share supidity. afridi needs more support from team managment.stress on modern day cricketers is immense and sometime takes it toll.afridi is under some stress and needs support. he should be in the plan to win the world cup. without him our chances will definatly be less . slectors must include him for rest of the series.

  • jamil on December 3, 2006, 5:45 GMT

    I was expecting it for a while. Here is what I have always thought and even put in my comments in another blog before - Shahid Afridi is one of the best talents Pakistan (and world) has seen in 1-day form. However, the senior players and coaches have failed to provide him the guidance he needed. I believe that he could become as great a batsman as Jayasuria, who single-handedly changed the way 1-day cricket is played. However, it is absolutely wrong for Afridi, or anyone else, to claim that he didn't get chances to prove himself. Just recently, in the Champions trophy against south africa at Mohali, he had 35 overs to go and majority of runs to score. The pitch suited him because the ball bounced on it and he could capitalize on it - he indeed did for 4 balls - hit two sixes. The next over he tried it again without looking at the ball and was LBW out. Does he show the responsibility and temparent - no! He has has done it way too often to be a reliable batsman and hence get a constant position. We have on the other hand a far less capable batsman Shoaib Malik with a lot more reliable attitude. I would like to see Malik out too but Afridi would be my choice of the two. That's what selectors etc are thinking. Now we got to worry about the team after Afridi. Here is what needs to be done: get rid of Malik too and try Salam Butt as a middle order batsman and for once stop using a ad-hoc team with afridi's and malik's. The other day Tony Craig was talking in an Ashes interview on the decision that Monty Panesar is not selected and Giles was instead in the team. The decision was based on the idea that Giles can support the team in lower order. Tony said that this is absolutely rubbish. If your team has to wait until 7th batsman for support then your batsmen are not doing their job. The selection must be based on the role that you are qualified to perform. It's time to put Kaneria in as a regular 1-day bowler (get rid of Afridi), get rid of Malik (and put a regular batsman in) and use it all in the WI and SA tour and have a team ready for world cup. Sorry but Afridi has had his share of batting and 193 wickets.

  • Imran Ahmed on December 3, 2006, 3:02 GMT

    Pakistan is the laughing-stock of the cricket world when it comes to the stupidity of its cricket bosses and the interference from people like President Mushy.

    Recently the Iranian soccer federation was suspended by FIFA for apparently not being independent enough. Iran it seems had been warned about not having politicians interfere in the soccer administration. Wonder if they know how things work in China or Libya for example!

    Funny how one man's food, is another man's poison!

  • Hafeez on December 3, 2006, 0:54 GMT

    Exclusion of Afridi from the squad based on his performance in West Indies last year was a poor one. Batting and Bowling averages of 30 and 17 are by all standards good performances that merit a chance. However, looking at his form in 2006 selectors should not have picked him. No side hoping to win the World Cup would continuing choosing out of form players so close to the World Cup. Afridi needs to play first class cricket only for now and improve the basics that he still get wrong after playing the game at the highest level for over 8 years.

  • Bilal on December 3, 2006, 0:47 GMT

    This is Pakistan's World Cup inshallah. I am convinced Inzi will go out with a bang, especially since he failed at the last World Cup. I am sure he will want Afridi in the squad come the Cup but if he doesn't then I am happy with that - its his Cup!

  • alikhan on December 3, 2006, 0:15 GMT

    im not shocked now although i wud be shocked if he wasnt on the plane to the West Indies. The fact of the matter is that Afridi demoralizes the cricket team and its time that he actually uses his brain similar to the way, some other big hitters like Dhoni and Symonds. Afridi's game limits him. He is only a matchwinner against dead tracks and against India. He never asseses the situation and whats best for Pakistan. Even when Irfan Pathan comes in early he plays a few deliveries and gets well set before he starts playing shots. Most good hitters play through the line rather than across the line. I hope someone smart tells Shahid AFridi about the law of averages because thats whats separating AFridi from symonds and the other very good players. LEts stop calling him a matchwinner, because unfortunately he doesnt do that enough.

  • Akshay Gupta on December 2, 2006, 23:34 GMT

    This is as correct decision as stripping out Sehwag from Vice-captaincy by Indian selectors for ongoing South Africa. Both these decisions may not find logic in purely cricket terms but selectors of both countries have made a strong point here. Zero tolerance to Indiscipline and pathetic attitude. I do think that act of STRONG-FACE towards indiscipline by both countries selection panels is too good to last long. Let's hope both young cricketers come out more stronger than ever to this debacle and once again bring cheers to their respective countries and fans.

  • Imran Zia on December 2, 2006, 21:14 GMT

    Shahid Afridi has been dropped but he should not be the only one to be dropped. Abdul Razzak seems to be a joy rider at the moment. There are three questions to be asked from him where do you hide him in the field, can he bowl ten overs in a match and when was the last time he did so, and if he has to play as a batsman he has to do a lot better. Danish Kaneria in one dayers would be a short lived experiment. Danish may be overexposed in the one day format and batsman would gain confidence against him and he would have to bowl flatter and faster which would make him a defensive bowler. It would be better to try out Mansoor Amjad as he can handle the bat as well.

  • Kashif Malik on December 2, 2006, 21:10 GMT

    Everybody lets get real, despite all his flaws BOOM BOOM he is very very special. Once in a life time type of player.

    We should stop seeing him as a front line batsman-he is a genuine aggressive wicket taking ODI bowler with experience. He together with malik are the best fielders in the team and finally if his batting comes off then what a bonus-not a bad batting average for a bowler...how many bowlers can you name that have the abilty to score hundreds and when in form can smash any bowler out of the park-remember what he did to Mr Lee during the VB series in Australia.

    His exclusion & his form are temporary-his inclusion & his talents are permanent.

    On a separate note, I have read Shahid Yousuf is the real deal and the future - have any of you seen him play and how good is he really?

  • Omer Admani on December 2, 2006, 20:50 GMT

    Faraz, I am afraid I tend to disagree. Inzamam has had a poor run lately, yet he averages about 37 during the past year (compare it to Afridi's 8 odd! Kaneria and Gul must have had better averages lately). Malik has no place in the test team; his selection is beyond my reasonable sense too. Imran is indeed erratic, yet from a practical point of view, he did perform quite well. He rode his luck, but remember, as the saying goes, it is better to be born lucky than rich: Money can always be lost, but it is only good luck which keeps on bringing it back. Kaneria, as a specialist spinner, is a fair trial in one-days because pressure could be applied in the middle overs of an innings where we usually go flat (remember how Symonds was let go in the world cup). Take Razzq's performance in Karachi when India came to Pakistan; then, later, when Pakistan went to Sri Lanka he played some vital innings; the champions trophy match against Sri Lanka when he played under pressure; and he was the only one who stood the crease for a while against South Africa in the seaming conditions. Razzaq is invaluable under pressure, though Waqar should be working more with his bowling. All in all, I would disagree with the notion that players which are not playing up to their standards are in the same league with players which have absolutely no standards. Although playing Rana and Sami, yet not Kamal and Nazir, are beyond my understanding, too. I would say that players should be selected on merit, not because some are favorites with the crowd. Besides, who knows, a new star yet might replace an old one (watch out for Gul).

  • mr. wise on December 2, 2006, 20:30 GMT

    i think afridi should had been included in the team. the player who should be omitted is abdr razzak. among these two player at this moment afridi is better all rounder and a proven match winner. razzak's ability to blast runs at end of the overs can be also performed by afridi. bowling strength is different but as pakistan now has hafiz who bowls reasonabely well...they have more option.

  • Talal on December 2, 2006, 19:53 GMT

    I agree with the decision to drop afridi. He needs to start think more about his shot selection. He has admitted he doesn't think about his shots. He will give his wickets away. If he can emulate dhoni then pick him, but at the moment his form doesn't warrant a place in the team. We have plenty of stroke makers what we need is match winning bowlers!

  • Faisal Riaz on December 2, 2006, 19:20 GMT

    i dont agree with the dropping of shahid afridi from the text matches nevermind the odi's the reason for this is pakistan wanted to play all thier games on a spining track all the pitches were made keeping danish in mind, so the obvious thing to do would have been that have another genuin spinner in the team in case danish had a bad day, which he had a few of. there are other couple of part time spinners in the team who didnt bowl enough, partly because inzimam doesnt have enough faith in them. another reason is i think honestly believe shahid is a better test batsman then razzaq and shoib malik. and now coming to the one day series. if u look at the best performances afridi has given in the past have been when he opened the batting, so why not give him the chance to open, I dont think pakistan have given him enough chances to open the innings in the recent past, and i think come the world cup he would be our best choice to open. he his performances in the last year series would back my claim. i hope others are thinking in the same line as me and hopefully he will be back in the squad soon

  • Faraz on December 2, 2006, 19:00 GMT

    If this is a question of merit...then why are the following players with the relevant weaknesses included:

    1-Inzy : Only one fifty in three test innings to show for his selection 2-Abdul Razzaq: one innings of 80 with Yousuf in the 2nd Test and failing ODI performance since Champions Trophy match vs Sri Lanka 3-Kamran Akmal: this underperformer needs to leave NOW !! --terrible and shameful performances since the begginning of this year especially the England tour and continuing with club level wicket keeping uptill the current series...it seems to the rest of the world that we are not producing quality wicket keepers while gems like Asim Kamal rot under the banner of selection favoritism and dual standards 4-Rana Naved: His time is over...let younger players take his place or else we are risking not infusing new blood into the side prior to the world cup 5-Shoaib Malik: continued failure in batting and bowling --just a couple of good catches to justify his selection ---mind boggling 6-Imran Farhat: extremely erratic and unreliable ...could not convert even one of his 50s into a hundred...MANY DROPPED CATCHES AND MISSED RUN OUT OPPORTUNITIES...gotta make way for someone more reliable 7-Danesh Kaneria: Are you kidding me ??? why are we selecting him in ODIs. His role should be limited to Tests only as a specialist spinner, Pakistan could easily utilize an all rounder in his place.

    The above group cited, should made to work for their selection rather than handing it over to them on a plate and ONLY then will it be all fair all merit...until then its a farce.. pure hypocrisy and nothing else.

    In One-Dayers the trend is to go with All-rounders and not speaclist spinners...

    Afridi can more than comfortably justify his inclusion in the team (regardless of whatever form he is in) in place of either Kaneria, Rana, Shoaib Malik AND even Abdul Razzaq.

    Crowds through out Pakistan come to witness Afridi and his sheer explosiveness and I have personally witnessed poeple literally vacate stadiums at very onset of an Afridi's innings coming to an end. Although a disturbing trend but highly significant especially from a "marketing the game" perspective and PCB only will loose on the possible revenue streams and widespread interest that could have been generated by inlcuding Afridi here. This would have also been the right time just before the world cup to get Afridi regain his confidence ...BUT as I have said on countless forums and discussion groups...this selection committee or any...as long as they are coming from ex-military, ex-diplomat backgroiund or if they are Musharraf's sidekicks like the current group of Ashraf and company...it will only get worse when it comes to selecting a team for Pakistan.

  • Sulaiman Ijaz, Karachi, Pakistan. on December 2, 2006, 18:20 GMT

    there are two questions to be answered here, not one.

    (1) should afridi have a place in the side on an ongoing basis. & (2) should he have been selected for the first odi vs. the windies.

    the answer to (1) is a resounding yes. in terms of intrinsic talent afridi is one of the best hitters of this generation. he is only 26(ish) and has the better part of a decade ahead of him. to argue that the answer is no is to suggest that the system (himself, captains, coaches, selectors, administrators and to some extent the public) has given him the best shot possible, and collectively allowed a tragic and almighty waste of talent.

    some might argue afridi has been given enough opportunities. perhaps. but merely being given a number of opportunities does not mean the system has given him the best chance to succeed. enough has been written about his firebrand nature. now add to that the monstrous weight of expectations from a man who was good enough to eviscerate 100 from 37 in his first international innings. you get a special player, who needed a balanced, consistent and nurturing environment, strong, nay very strong leadership and handling with the utmost care.

    what you don't get is a man who should have been given endless chances and scant guidance. especially when those chances were no more than a position on the fringes of a merry-go-round of captains, coaches, regimes, policies, match-fixing, heavy-handed intervention and general chaos that ran pakistan cricket for a decade.

    as obaid correctly points out, his returns over any reasonable timeframe are debatable at best. however, this cannot be an argument to banish afridi forever. instead it is a wake up call to the system to get its act together and think about how to get him to sustainably perform in line with his natural talent.

    question (2) is largely irrelevant in the larger context. there are several arguments to drop him for only the first game. the foremost being a good kick up the arse.

    the more general question (2a), should he be picked for the entire series, is probably what got the good doctor Abbasi fuming. i don't know enough about the situation to know the right answer. (and i am not sure most people do.) but i sincerely hope the decision will be made as part of a balanced, logical, open-minded effort to get the best out of afridi in the medium and long term. it would be a tragic loss if it weren't.

  • John Beamish on December 2, 2006, 17:12 GMT

    I really don't know a lot about Afridi but I was on holiday in Barbados in May 2005. I was able to see the West Indies play Pakistan in Bridgetown. That's the only time I have seen Afridi bat. It was an amazing hundred that had us spellbound. When he was out, after peppering the crowd with half dozen sixes, I thought the gods themselves would weep.

  • Salman Zaidi on December 2, 2006, 16:40 GMT

    Kamran, couldn't agree more.

  • ali on December 2, 2006, 16:15 GMT

    well said Umair Jafri RIYADH

    one day cricket wouldnt be one day cricket without the BLING BLING SHOAIBS and AFRIDI

    please people stop hating just show support

    i am an afridi fan i am dissapointed with his perfomances but he needs discpline thats all.

    AFRIDI and SHOAIB are the most exciting to watch when in full flow. i am very sure people who like boring cricket wouldnt agree.

    inshahallah afridi will find his form and fullfill his potential and talent....

    MR EUCEUPH AHMED i read some of your comments which are good on previous posts but i disgagree with you here man

    ONEDAY cricket is at its best when its all about fours,sixes,yorkers and stumps flying around

    after all we do need these BLING BLING SHOAIBS AND BLING BLING AFRIDIS if you apreciate one day cricket......

  • Hamza on December 2, 2006, 15:59 GMT

    Accepted that the selection committee is full of morons and consumate dorks, they did make a bold decision regarding Afridi this time around. Razzaq is a far more consistent performer as compared to afridi. Even if one talks about tests, at the end of the day Razzaq attempts to justify his position by scoring runs and taking wickets as he did against the windies unlike Afridi who probably takes things for granted. His consistent underperformances don't help his case either. What use can u derive from a player whose 50 comes after 50 failures? His bowling isn't good enough to justify his place in the team either.

    All other selection decisions are crazy but this one, i don't have much objections against it.

  • Mahfuzur Rahman on December 2, 2006, 15:57 GMT

    A player like Afridi should be judged based on one year bad form.we should not forget his past years contribution to the Pakistan team.

  • Farooq on December 2, 2006, 15:39 GMT

    I totally agree with you, Kamran! Afridi must not be left out from ODI side. He bowls, bats and fields. He always takes wickets, if the issue is with his battting form which I think is bc of batting order. He must bat low down the order. I urge PCB to rethink their decision. Pakistan need Afridi in ODI side!!!!

  • jawaad on December 2, 2006, 15:18 GMT

    Good decision,finally the team will play true cricket like the way it should be played.Look at the Lance Klusner,much better player than Afridi,has been left out.We serioulsy need selection on merit.He deservs to be dropped.

  • Omer Admani on December 2, 2006, 14:43 GMT

    I am quite fascinated by people who use the word "form" when describing his recent performances. I always thought it was on pure chance, like throwing a die, that he scored his runs. Enough of his foolishness. I understand that he is a star and attracts people, but according to a fair theory of justice people would be in the team on the basis of their merit. What about the other who is left out despite his better performances? We expect the PCB to select a winning team, a fair team based on the merit of players, yet we consistently compromise that sense of fairness by supporting ineffective players because of our biases? Another example: Mohammad Sami for Shahid Nazir. No-one bothered to question that decision?

  • AbdulMajid Siddiqui on December 2, 2006, 14:25 GMT

    Certainly its a stupid decision, what selector not understand is there is a clear differnce between Test Cricket and One Day cricket, they are weighing Afridi's contributions in Tests to make a decision for One Day which shows the lack of professionalism of our selectors. I am totally agree with your opinion about Afridi and he should be given a chance on his home soil and average attack to come out from his bad form. Further, I have not seen any worst display of wicket keeping as shown by Kamran Akmal during Karachi Test. It seems that there is no other wicket keeper available in the country, the more shameful it becomes when we see the chairman of the selector himself was a seasoned wicket keeper. I request to the authority whoever he is to immediately appoint a better wicket keeper to end our pain of seeing such a pethetic display by our national wicket keeper.

  • Zahra on December 2, 2006, 10:39 GMT

    Man almost everyone admire Afridi, we just cant leave him out just like that...he is a must in the team...excellent fielder, excellent wicket taker but cant say anything about his bowling. I agree with Zain and Mr. Javed A.Khan they both presented really good views.

    But i beleive Afridi Should learn something for being left out from this coming Pak/WestIndies series. I hope he can practice more and more in nets.

  • venkatesh on December 2, 2006, 10:27 GMT

    this is a decision that has nothing to do with cricketing matters and will only further undermine the confidence of a potentially explosive cricketer.

  • Adeel Khan on December 2, 2006, 10:20 GMT

    I feel that Afridi had a very good opportunity in the Champions Trophy to prove himself as a mature all-round cricketer & cement his position in the ODI team. He had the No.5 spot(in the absense if Inzy) & his quota of 10 overs were to his disposal if he chose to bowl them economicaly. But despite being a die-hard fan of Afridi, I felt that he let the country down. He was a senior member of the squad & his poor/rash shot selection vs S.L; when Malik & Razzak eased Pakistan to victory & the panic mode vs S.A. was quite indicative of the fact that he had not matured as a batsman and is still unable to carry the team in times of crises. So now, I do feel that the board's decision to drop Afridi was justified. The only other issue is that if Afridi is in the plan's for the upcoming World Cup, then this decision might backfire, but if the board is selecting purely on merit, a fair call. Will miss you Shahid!!! Let's hope you perform well in the domestic circuit & prove your critics wrong. However, at the end of the day, the emotions of a possible triumphant Pakistan should heal the loss of "Boom Boom Afridi".

  • TK on December 2, 2006, 10:19 GMT

    PCB’s has also made a myopic decision by not including Shahid Afridi in the ODI squad. If the “Cricket fuedals” want Pakistani team to excel at the World cup then they ought to groom and prepare players like Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt & Co by providing them proper coaching and playing opportunities. Shahid Afridi not only provides a physiological advantage against opponents but also possess the “Turbo Charger” potential to put his stokes in stratosphere and win matches.

  • Talha Ahmed on December 2, 2006, 10:15 GMT

    The Afridi fizz has gone away and also he is no more a novelty. Pietersen, Justin Kemp, Gilchrist, Dhoni, Sehwag have shown that in order to make a match winning formula common sense is to be mixed with aggression. Afridi is made up purely of the latter.

  • Shahbaz Faheem on December 2, 2006, 10:12 GMT

    Strange selection. Whatever it may be but this team is not a buildup to WC-07. Again no proper planning for WC. There is no place for Afridi, fine. but what Younis, Sami, Rao & Naveed are doing there? any guess.

  • Talha Ahmed on December 2, 2006, 10:10 GMT

    I think Afridi should now consider retirement from one-day cricket as well.

    It was not the fact that he hasnt been able to hit the ball as far, Its just that his shot selection was worse than ever before. He is one player who seems to learn nothing from experience.

    Thus, this drop puts Afridi in his rightful place even if we do need him to play for us in the world cup. Since, hoicks accross the line off the first ball of an innings are not signs of lack of confidence but signs of overconfidence. I hope this turns out to be a correct decision and Afridi is able to bounce back.

    The South Africa tour could be a chance for him as he has considerable experience of playing in South Africa in the domestic circuit. But why consider that - he never does seem to learn from his experiences.

  • waheed sanam on December 2, 2006, 10:03 GMT

    i think it is good for pakistan and also good for afridi to he was thinking that he is bone of pakistan but i think now he will think about performance not only big and bad shots he dont know what is situation and how it handled it

  • Shehzad Khan on December 2, 2006, 9:20 GMT

    Its simply stupid... Pakistan has the most blanced ODI team in the world. The only problem they have ahd over the past one year in their ODI side is of openers.

    Just look at this team Imran, Hafeez, Malik, Younis, Yousuf, Inzamam, Afirdi, Razzaq, Akmal, Gul, Rana, Rao, Faisal Iqbal and Yasir Arafat.

    and Look at the options you have based on the above

    Opners: Imran, Hafeez, Malik, Afridi Middle Order: Malik, Younis, Yousuf, Inzi, Faisal All Rounders: Afridi, Razzaq, Malik, Hafeez, Arafat, Akmal Bowlers: Gul, Rana, Rao, Arafat, Afridi, Malik, Hafeez

    Who is the silly guy behind this attempt of taking 3 years of efforts from Wollmer, Inzi and Co in preparing the most balanced side based on the avilable talent?

    I am sure Woolmer and Inzi have not been consulted on this!!!

  • Usman Tahir on December 2, 2006, 9:16 GMT

    Grow up Kamran! planning for future doesnt in any way implies that you pick a player who fires 1 out of 10 times. Pakistan team has enough alrounders and dont need shahid who i would hav chosen only for his bowling nothing else and as that department is covered no need to pick him.

    well said obaid ( in ure second post)

  • Abdul K Hussain on December 2, 2006, 8:42 GMT

    I agree with Kamran it was a poor decision especially for the reason mentioned in Kamran's piece, this is Pakistan, this is his home territory and conditions are very much like the windies. The intelligent thing to do would have been to play him in all the matches here and possibly leave him out of the SA series, and let him play domestic cricket to keep him confidence up. But that has not been the only poor selection, Shahid Nasir must be wondering what he has to do to get a ODI place. And Akmal must be thinking he can do anything and still keep his place. 11 wickets at 28 and tight controlled bowling all througout the series should have gtd. Nasir (the last letter of alphabet does not work on my keyboard, courtesy of my 2 yr. old!) a shot. For some reason the selectors have pegged him a test bowler without ever trying him in an ODI since his comeback. He deserved a shot in the first two and if he did not work out then Rana could have been recalled, he has done nothing special in the Patrons Trophy. We desperately need a back up keeper. My vote would go to Mohd. Salman who went with Pak A for the top end series, looking at the stats there his keeping seemed pretty efficient (in an innings of over 500 he only let 2 byes go) and I saw him play for Faisalabad in the 20-20 championship in England 2 summers ago and was impressed by his keepinng.

  • Jawad Maqsood on December 2, 2006, 8:24 GMT

    Is Afridi the only Player avaiable i Pakistan.Lets get simle and straightforward.If one is not performing well for a long time he whould nt be selected and a chance should be given to the others who have performed well in the domestic circuit. We have many chaps in the Row.Shahid Yousaf, Faisal Iqbal and others all are are capable of performing well than Afridi, so Why to stick with unpredictable & non-consistant Afridi. We dont need a few big hits and then getting out in foolish manner and putting the team in pressure,we need some one who can take the team along with him to the winning post.

  • Ashaq on December 2, 2006, 7:08 GMT

    I remeber qoute from an old Irish boxing trainer.He said champions are not created in tournaments or in front off roaring crowds, they are created away from the limelight.In the gymnasiums where endless , boring and mundane hours are spent in repetition.that is you repeat youre technique over and over again day in day out until it becomes second nature.Countless hours watching tapes off past and present greats on video.and trying too replicate every tachnique every move and every reflex off those individuals in practice.The public ultimately only see the end result off those countless hours off blood sweat and tears.It is through this kind off desire ,discipline and dedication that can propel an sportsman off average talent too greatness.Whilst a sportsman May have abundance off natural talent and be truly gifted.If they lack this desire and dedication they will never achieve the same heights. "pakistan have the most natural talent and abundance off gited players" is a remark that ive heard repeated by commentators from across the world for the last ten years yet it is Australia who have dominated.Indeed greatness and world domination can never be achieved in the Night Clubs and the Casinos off the world.It is created by what Napoleon Hill called "The burning desire too win" The ability too triumph in the face off adversity.IT is the same burning desire that helped mohammed yousaf,come from very humble background and reach the pinnacle.OR Umar Gul too overcome stress fractures in his back indeed it is a miracle that he is not crippled let alone playing for his country.It is the same Burning Desire that helped Shaid Nazir too patiently persevere in domestic cricket and regain his spot in the national squad when most others would have given up hope .These are the true heros.Whilst the likes off Afridi and Akhtar my have great talent they seem too lack the burning desire.Many an Athletes career has been ruined by fame fortune and the trappings that go with it.But a sportsman can overcome the challenge off superstar status.We dont need too look any further than jahanghir khan the great squash player.He did not lose a match for five years and won over 500 matches in a row.If only the playboys in the cricket squad had a fraction off his desire.The passion and pride displayed by Nazir is truly heroic.We need more individuals like him Gul and YOusaf if are ever too overtake the australians.I truly hope Afridi can improve but ive not seen him even try too rectify his defects in ten years I doubt I ever Will.

  • Rasheed on December 2, 2006, 7:08 GMT

    It is not that pakistan has many great players. Without Shoaib and Asif.You have to hope that Afridi get backs his form.It has to be allout. If Afridi is in form that Just add a big plus to cover inefficiency of bowlers.Politics is everywhere in Pakistan.

  • Omar Khasru on December 2, 2006, 6:40 GMT

    It is simply baffling to see Shahid Afridi left out of the one day side. Afridi has always been a potent force in the subcontinent pitches. The gentle pace of the West Indies medium pacers would be real fodder for his liking and exactly what the doctor ordered for him to regain his form and vigor. On any given day Afridi can still be a dominant destroyer of opposition bowling and can demoralize any side, especially in the placid batting friendly slow subcontinent pitches. The decisions of Pakistani selectors as well as the top brass have often been inane and quite inconceivable and bewildering.

  • Obaid Ilyas on December 2, 2006, 6:27 GMT

    Further to my earlier comment I would like to add that we in Pakistan have a tendency of suggesting players who should be in the team. No one specifies who these players would replace given it still is an 11 a side game (until ofcourse the ICC in its infinite wisdom decides to screw around with the basics of the game ... again!) It should be considered that Inzamam has to come back into the team and the person from the 11 that played in the ICC Champions Trophy who he should replace has to be Afridi. Razzaq is a close second but he seems to get things right a bit more regularly than Afridi.

    Hafeez, Farhat, Younis, Yousuf, Inzamam, Malik, Razzaq and Akmal is a long enough batting line-up. These 8 should really get the job done. Better to take a specialist batsman and bowler in reserve rather than bank on the Afridi lottery.

  • Raza Zaidi on December 2, 2006, 6:05 GMT

    This is the right decision. In fact, it is the triumph of sensibleness. A truly rational and reasonable decision. Let the culture of stardom take the back seat. Let the team be selected on the basis of current performance rather than putative potential and/or past glory. Let the performers advance and kick the mere showmen out. This decision shows that Pakistani selectors are finally finding the guts to boot the big names after consistent failure. Good job! I'd say.

  • ZAIN on December 2, 2006, 5:13 GMT

    The PCB's decision to drop Shahid Afridi may backfire the team and most importantly his fans.. but to be fair, how can u afford to continue with a player who doesnt perform... to bring to the readers' attention afridi's ODI average since Pakistan's home series against England to the Champion's trophy is a mere 9.80.... so why not give another player a chance who proves to be more promising and offers long term solution to Pakistan's batting line-up.

    Who remembers Afridi's last 50 plus score? his last 50 came against the Windies in Carribeans..and since then his batting graph is on a continuos decline.

    He may be able to rediscover his form sometimes later....but Pakistan are now on the way to 2007 WC in West Indies and bringing Afridi Back for the SA tour by the year end would be hugely silly of the Pakistani selectors!!!. Another argument is Afridi's domestic form!!! As he didnt click in the domestic circuit...time is definitely not on his side!!!

    But to a certain extent its the fault of the Pakistan's selectors!!...Dropping him @ this stage of the year is really stupid and if he's certainly recalled for the SA tour...Pakistani selectors would repeat the drama they did in the selection process in the WC 2003 as they selected Azhar Mahmood in the squad although he was out of the squad since August 2002..

  • amin salman on December 2, 2006, 4:56 GMT

    well its a great shock that afridi is not selected for the first ODI. i think that PCB is not understanding Afridi and his qualities, they are wasting his potentials and this talented player.Every team in the world dream to have Afridi in their teams. But pakistan cricket board is doing unjustice to this guy.

  • Omer Admani on December 2, 2006, 4:39 GMT

    Well, since Kaneria has been selected, no point selecting another spinner. Besides, I can't recall Afridi propeling Pakistan to a victory more than a few times (in about a million matches), so the decision to omit him is justified. Why not give someone else a chance to replace the forlorn hope that we always seem to possess in the multitude? I thought Nazir's exclusion, and Sami's inclusion, was ridiculous. Some things just can't be learned. What's Malik doing in the test team (as a batsman only) when Asim Kamal is not even selected in the top 14. Baffling.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 2, 2006, 4:39 GMT

    It was expected, and what more can you expect from fools who select the team? Time and again they have dropped him, they kept yo-yo-ing his batting order and then expect him to be mentally strong and score big innings.

    This bunch of jokers have ruined the careers of players like: Imran Nazir Salman Butt Yasir Hameed Asim Kamal

    And now they are doing the same with Shahid Afridi.

    If it is a matter of FORM then Razzaq Kamran Akmal even Inzamam have shown pathetic form

    In India, during the Champions Trophy, even YOUNIS KHAN's contribution as a player and as a captain was very pathetic.

    It appears that it is NOT JUST FORM but it is more a matter of PERSONAL LIKES AND DISLIKES, and it is simply PPP (PETTY PAKISTANI POLITICS).

    What a shame that they are ruining a GREAT TALENT like SHAHID AFRIDI .... shouldn't there be a PETITION TO BRING HIM BACK?

  • Syed Ali on December 2, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    Another moronic decision. Everyone, including the selector, know in their heart of hearts that Afridi will be in the world cup squad. Instead of giving him some time out on Pakistani tracks and build some confidence this is what they do.

    I blame Woolmer and the captain of Afridi's run of low scores. In Jan 2005 Afridi was used perfectly in the VB series. He batted in the last 10 overs and scored quickfire 30s and 50s consistently, providing the death over blast for which our middle order had laid foundations for. It is amazing how easily they have forgottenn this proven success formula and started experimenting. He has either been sent in the middle of the inning, which doesn't suit his style of play; or at the top of the order where he has rarely been successful because the ball swings and new ball bowlers have figured him out.

    Anyway, i bet my bottom rupee he is going to play the world cup.

    By the way, Kaneria in the ODI squad based on Kumble's performance in SAF is the joke of the century. I can't stop laughing. I exepct him to be the next bowler to conceded 100 runs in an ODI.

    Rana is also in. The stupidity doesn't end. Nice and subtle one Sir :)

  • ali on December 2, 2006, 3:55 GMT

    i understand what ur saying KA but someone earlier said that afridi has the guts to go for a six off every ball. thats not guts my friend thats stupidity. i was watching highlights recently of afridi in india when JM was a coach. he was hitting cover drives and straight drives on the ground. afridi has every bit the same talent as symonds and dhoni but he has no brains. gilchrist plays quick all the time but he actually looks at the ball and the situation. he was dominating wi in the champions trophy. but when wickets were falling he tried to play through. afridi shudnt just have a license to thrill. he demoralizes the team and the fans with some of his shots. someone shud tell him the law of averages abt hitting the ball in the air and across the line.

  • Taimur Huk on December 2, 2006, 3:30 GMT

    i think the selectors did the right thing to leave shahid afridi out of the squad because he is a very inconsistent player. you just cant depend on him. in one match, he will score a century from fifty balls and in the next match he will be out for a duck because he will try to clobber every ball that comes his way. this should serve as a lesson for afridi that he needs to play more responsibly. and plus pakistan can win without him.

  • Jadogar-spin on December 2, 2006, 3:01 GMT

    114 runs from 17 matches at an average of just over eight - and a paltry 14 wickets! It's time for Mr. Afridi to play domestic and re-learn how to play cricket. We need a good batsman, not just a handsome face...

  • Bashir Fancy on December 2, 2006, 2:59 GMT

    Wasim Bari has done it again. There is no logic to dropping Shahid Afridi. Razzak, Inzi have not performed either in the last few games. I would like Bari to explain. This is the best way of destroying the confidence of younger players. SUrely Bari is not preparing for the World Cup, whatever else he may be thinking

  • abdulkareem on December 2, 2006, 2:27 GMT

    Afridi is very good one day player,an all rounder., It is really don't understand the logic of the selection committee decition., The world cup is approaching and they still leave out Afridi., I think it will definitely affect them noe as well as in world cup

  • James Bond on December 2, 2006, 2:21 GMT

    What a blow! just like rameez raja says. i think this is a stupid decision GRRRRRRRR!:@!:!@@@

  • Owais Ehsan on December 2, 2006, 1:26 GMT

    I here people saying above, that Afridi should not be in the team because of his poor form , can anyone justify why Razzak has been in the test team for so long with hardly any performances ? or may be Afridi should be more in the social circle of Inzi ?

    Afridi is still best Pak fielder and a better bowler than others in the team. He would justify his place on bowling alone , forget about the poor batting form he is in.

  • Mawali on December 2, 2006, 0:48 GMT

    Ammaa Abbasi sahid AAj baray chul bullay ho rahay hain! But seriously you can quote any an all statistics and or nuances into the decision of not including Afridi. The fact of the matter is shorty ain't do'in the job. You cannot allow any player (except Mr. Potato) to find his form during international matches. No sir! no can do. I'll go ahead and chalk this one for the PCB.

  • Aftab Qureshi on December 1, 2006, 23:12 GMT

    It is not the first time that Afridi has been omitted, nor it may be the last. However, good or bad as it may turn out, the selectors do need to address a few issues, not least the number of all rounders that can sensibly be included in the playing 11. It seems ridiculous to play Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi all at the same time. At least one of them has to be omitted. And let's not forget that the ODI team that has been selected is only for the first match. I have a hunch that Afridi will be picked for one or more of the subsequent matches. Stupidity would indeed have won if this does not happen.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on December 1, 2006, 22:48 GMT

    “I do really- And you may consider me deluded for holding this view—believe that Afridi must be in the one day squad to give him a chance to rediscover his international form” Firstly, I believe you are an articulate and eloquent writer with consummate knowledge of the game, a writer whose anecdotes and insight on the game I hold in high esteem. Thus the question of me thinking you are delusional, with regards to giving Afridi an extended run in international cricket, does not emanate. However, one should not be oblivious or ignorant of the ground realities. Afridi has been given enough opportunities to prove himself at the top level. As Obaid fittingly stated, “Since 2005 Afridi has played 42 ODI games in which he has taken 40 wickets at 33.7 rpo and scored 752 runs at an avg of 17.9 and a highest score of 56.” Clearly, these figures do not in any suggest that Afridi has been a regular match winner for us the in past three-four years. In addition, when you consider the total number of games that Afridi has played, it clearly delineates that Afridi has not been adept at learning from his mistakes. What makes you feel or believe that further chances against a West Indian side that is shaping up well (by virtue of its recent ODI performances), will aid him in rediscovering his international form? I strongly believe in a system of meritocracy and perseverance with Afridi only erodes the credibility of such a system.

    “I don't see any fresh thinking or solutions in the latest squad.”

    Secondly, I am not a staunch advocate of the capricious and ludicrous selection policies that have been pursued by the Pakistani selectors. As a corollary, I along with many others assent ( As evident from the posts in your previous blog ) with your views on how, “Selection is one area that the cricket board has failed to cover itself in glory for many years”. Nevertheless, recalling Mohammad Sami and Rana in the absence of Shoaib and Asif and in the context of our scanty resources, is a step in the right direction. Doesn’t that constitute sound thinking in your book? Also, continuing with Imran Farhat and Hafeez at the top of the order, though I am yet to be convinced of Farhat’s potential, reflects some degree of consistency in the selection policy of the board.

  • Fight_club on December 1, 2006, 22:39 GMT

    Afridi was not much in my mind when i went through the selection list. vomiting sensations like Rana and Rao are back for no fault of their own(but of selectors). Shahid Nazir who bowled so impressively throughout the test series got rewarded. their is no youngerster in the team i was hoping that atleast Niazi will get a look in so we can count our bowling options for the world cup if at all their is a weakness its the bowling the Vaccum left by Asif and Shoaib is so big that bunch of these selectors will get complex looking comparing the vaccum they have in their heads. Afridi who travels like a ticketless passenger(nobody knows when he will pull the chain and get down) gets all the attention. i thought disappointment will pour in from all quaters about the selection of Sami, Rana, Rao. can't these regressive and defensive animals think beyond them. oh sorry its about Afridi, so he is not in the team. how often do you blink to miss him.

  • Rukiyya Baano on December 1, 2006, 22:02 GMT

    I personally never liked afridi's style of batting. All he does is close his eyes and start hitting the ball without even settling down first. He should learn from adam gilchrist who has the same style of batting as afridi but plays his innings very sensibly. Afridi only plays for himself and not for the country, he plays to make the crowd happy not to win matches for us. He never stays through the end of the innings (if you have ever noticed). Sometimes his tukka's work and people start liking him. I totally agree with the PCB decision to drop him and i wouldn't be surprise if he doesn't make it to our WC team, actually i will be glad if that happens. Although, i hate couple of decisions that PCB made is that they brought back Naved and sami in the team. It is absolutely certain that Naved is not a good bowler anymore, he cannot take wickets and gives away 6 runs an over instead. What is the point of bringing him back in the team and on top of that PCB dropped shahid nazir. What the hell? and why would we still want sami in the team when we all know he is going to flat out suck. PCB makes some good decision but in the end they too have no idea on how to put together a championship team

  • Zohaib on December 1, 2006, 21:35 GMT

    When he is in we want him out, and when he is out we want him in.... things need to change....

  • Abu Ahmad on December 1, 2006, 21:33 GMT

    Afridi has not been named in the squad for the first match and not for the entire series.Besides his utterly disappoiting of late he seems to have developed attitude problem.Is'nt a fact that both both Afridi And Razzaq have lived upto expectation despite a regular place in the team.Azhar Mahmood has been sidelined because ofAfridi and Razzaq and he is definitely a better batsman and all surface player.Let afridi and razzaq perform and find a place in the team

  • Zubair Ahmad on December 1, 2006, 21:18 GMT

    Afridi do not have any place in the team. We all wait for Afridi to come at the crease and what does he do, he plays strangely. Remember the World cup 2003, first match against Australia. Pakistan needs to chase 310 runs and Mr Afrid comes to opens the innings and tries to block the ball, no hitting at all. Afridi makes his mind to hit or block even before the ball is delivered. We got enough all rounders, if we want a batsman who can play very fast, then Imran Nazir is the best option.

  • Cricket Junky on December 1, 2006, 21:00 GMT

    The rule should be that you perform you play. If you are out of form, go play domestic cricket, rediscover your form and claim your spot again. You can not be in the team based on your previous acheivements. Afridi is playing domestic cricket but has not discovered his form yet. I still remember his last game against South Africa where he just threw his wicket. Pakistan were 6 down for 27 runs, Afridi came into bat and played like he is in a hurry to go somewhere. He was on the crease for 8 balls, tried to hit every ball out of the ground, missed 4, hit 1 six and 1 four, made 14 runs, and back to his merry way to the pavilion. Any street cricketer would have played more sensibly then him. Is this the kind of attitute you need from a professional cricketer. This Guy and some other like him take their spot in the team forgranted. No pride in playing for your country. They need to realize that its an honour to play for your country. Whatever they have become (legend, etc.), its because of playing for your country. Hopefully some sence prevail in him soon.

  • Faisal Habib on December 1, 2006, 20:59 GMT

    Dears, Itis really a bad decesion from PCB becouse Afridi is a Man who perform many times for Pakistan and he have a capability to do something worth watching again if he gain the confidence from the selection board , skipper and coach and secondly Afridi's performance in Wasim Akram's time was really good only becouse of captial's confidence on Afridi. Now Wolmor and Inzi bahi did not give him confidence to play at right position..... So i think so as PCB give chances to Other players evwen Inzamam during their bad time , Afridi should deserve one chance in Home series.

  • Tahir Saleem on December 1, 2006, 20:51 GMT

    reply to: Ali Asim at December 1, 2006 4:59 PM

    Hi Asim, Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Yes.. all our World cup winners from 1992 were always going to have a special place in history. Let me take you back all those years, when we were being humbled in the opening matches of the 1992 world cup, rain saved us against England when Pak were all out for about 70! Others did us a favour and we got through to the semi's ( fairly regular for Pak teams in world cup ). Eden Park, v NZ...Inziman resucues a lost cause ( guided by Javed ). The final, Inzimam and Wasim upped a painfully slow run rate, and then 'THOSE TWO BALLS' from Wasim...remember now? Of course Javed was the best Pak batsman ever, and Aqib, Mushy and co did well, but believe me if it wasn't for the individual brilliance of Inzi and Wasim, you would just remember them like all our other semi losing teams. What you need is someone like Imran to harness such talent and get them playing as a unit. Don't get me wrong, I don't particularily rate Wasim, Shoaib, Afridi or even Imran ( post cricket however he does seem to be totally transformed ) etc as characters..from what I hear and read, but be fair...with the right people in charge that's the important bit ), they would win you all the matches you want. In summary, get the best eleven, and then get the right man to get 100% out of the those eleven.

  • Arif Rashid on December 1, 2006, 20:42 GMT

    No, this a good decision. Although you call him our talisman, I have seen Afridi fail more times than he has wowed us. Through this test series, Pakistan has gain some good groove, and selecting Afridi would probably disturb this. You must select a team based on the combination, and I was fully satisfied with the combination of players that was selected, I think it is very solid. And I think it is not fair to select Afridi if he has not been performing domestically. If Afrid had been selected do you honestly think that he would magically regain form which he doesn't even have in domestic cricket. No, it would just be another signal to him that he can float on his star-power. No, we should not allow Afridi to float on by anymore. We will not put up with his flaky cricket. No one will deny that he is the most talented player on the squad, but the message is clear, perform, consistently! I would honestly trade in some of his great many amazing sixes for consistent and smart innings from him. Let me emphasize my most important point, he is out of form, his selection is not justified. Although you might find justification through his potential, the message must now and forever be clear to Afridi, selection on performance, not on potential. I am in great hopes that Afridi gets this message, applies himself, regains form, plays smarter, and becomes the destroyer he should be.

  • Pitafi on December 1, 2006, 20:30 GMT

    Vow for the people who are against PCB decision, it's one of finest decision. Dear please look into afridi record first and then talk about any thing else, am sure if u will check his stat's even of last 12 months U will know how correct this decision is from PCB. BY THE WAY what u people think about his attitute specialy for last 6 or 8 months... i have noticed him so many time during live matches and he seemed as if he has no interest in the match and it looks as if he is playing any club match ... so still do u people think he is an asset, he is a match winner, yep he was but not anymore, SORRY.

  • Jaggi on December 1, 2006, 20:10 GMT

    Afridi is an amazing talent, no doubt. I think its ok to drop these special players when they are out of form, but, it has to be communicated properly to the player. The insecurities a player can have will be greatly reduced if the bigger picture is communicated. In this case, Afridi should be told about his role in the world cup and given a roadmap for the same. Afridi gets a well deserved break, gets back to basics(someone like Miandad etc can work with him on that) and returns to the team before the world cup.

  • Omar Ansari on December 1, 2006, 20:05 GMT

    Haha I can't believe this, I wonder how their minds work. This makes no sense, I guess the selectors just wanted to make another record of being the dumbest people on earth...

  • ALI on December 1, 2006, 20:01 GMT

    I agree with Zahra. These are ODIs!! If he wants to "rebuild" his confidence, domestic level if perfect for him. Take Australia for example, each player relishes the chance to play for there country and they know, if don’t perform, there are a handful of better players waiting for that gateway to the International arena. Quite frankly he’s had far too much chances to “rebuild” his confidence and has refused to take them! Some time away from ODI’s should be good. (and btw, don’t Pakistan go play SA, before the world cup)

  • Kashif Malik on December 1, 2006, 19:52 GMT

    For avoidance of doubt I am a massive Afridi fan and want him back in the team asap.

    However, his exclusion is a blessing in disguise. For some time his performance had become stagnate and a proper break might just re-light that fire.

    Remember his performances in both forms of the game when he returned after the 2003 WC drop.

    Finally, I feel sorry for Yasir Arafat-those of you who followed his performances for Sussex will know what I mean.

  • Zahra on December 1, 2006, 19:40 GMT

    I slightly disagree with Mr.Kamran Abbasi that "Afridi should be allowed to re-discover him self" but Why... he is a proffessional player, If he is not in form or if he is not performing even in the Domestic. It is a right decision. No matter he is an asset for pakistan. but he need to go some where else to discover him self before the World Cup.

  • Arshad Kazmi on December 1, 2006, 19:33 GMT

    Spot on Ashaq; Let's wish Afridi and Akhtar a happy and prolonged Bollywood career. Let them negotiate all the billboard revenues they wish now from their corporate sponsors. It'll be nice watching them dancing around the trees chasing sexy chics. THAT'S THE WAY YOU DO IT / MONEY FOR NOTHING, CHICS FOR FREE !!!

  • Omar Haq on December 1, 2006, 19:23 GMT

    Rubbish! Afridi is a useless player. He has 1 or 2 innings of substance every 30 matches. We have wasted over 200 ODI's on him already. His time is over. We need specialists and not 'bits and pieces' players. The only reason he is still around is because the public, including yourself, love to see that sparse magic, the uncontrollable pathan fury at work.

    However, the public in general, will never get past their impasssionaed support of this pretty useless player.

    The selectors have smartly excluded him. Let him play around in the domestic season. Lets see if he can do well, get some control and become reliable.

    He is a liability to the team and a hindrance to our winning the WC.

    I applaud the the PCB

  • Zahra on December 1, 2006, 19:14 GMT

    Afridi should learn a lesson in order to be in the World Cup.

  • Zeyd Sheikh on December 1, 2006, 19:07 GMT

    I think Afridi's fate was decided in the Champions trophy where a combination of his own foolish dismissals and Shoaib Malik's success lower down the award resulted in his omission. I personally think it’s a good move; we just weren’t getting enough from him on a regular basis and blindly holding on to the hope that he may come good should not be the basis of selection. I don't see any place for him in the team any more. Malik will get his 6 spot and I think that solidifies the batting whilst still retaining enough bowling options.

  • aboysa on December 1, 2006, 19:05 GMT

    Kam, I am starting to like you. Your following statement sums it up all. Your star player, your talisman, your aggressor, your match-winner needs to rediscover his confidence.

    Its time that PCB be eradicated from buncha Yes Sirs, and other non cricket people. Alas, only if I was a wizard.

  • Umair Jafri RIYADH on December 1, 2006, 18:53 GMT

    Entertainment is one of the greatest Parts of World Cricket.

    Admit it or Not! Without "chookas and chikkas" by Afridis and "bling blings" by Shoaib...They there is no excitement in Cricket.

    People sit down in front of their televisions for entertainment, if Shahid or Akhtar is there...There is some kind of amusement and thrill going around every where. The Style in these cricketers is hard to find in some other players...though there are some problems with these cricketers. Like all those “Bharam bazi’s” and stuff, but

    Akhtar is a killer, can tear down the line Up like anything… While Afridi …. We can always remember him by those 4 sixes in a row with a 4 to Mulitaran and many others like those. He may not be a match winner, though he can slaughter one of the best bowlers in the world. Encore Akhtar and Afridi should be in the team ~~~

  • saqib bin sohail on December 1, 2006, 18:33 GMT

    Its sheer entertainment when Afridi is on song, he is very handy with the ball and a very safe fielder, despite all this he doesn't inspire confidence, he might be a really good choice when we know that we are going to lose so why not include him and he might provide some magic but when the team is reasonably good and requires constant performance then Afridi just doesn't seem to fit. Over the years it was thought that he might become a bit more consistent yet he hasn't, and sometimes the way he plays just doesn't fit.

    To win the WC or at least qualify for the advanced stages, we need somebody to perform consistently, and with Afridi things just don't add up, unless ...

  • Amyn Habib on December 1, 2006, 18:32 GMT

    People who think that Afridi’s exclusion from the current ODI team might harm the team’s performance in the forthcoming World Cup should consider the champion’s performance in previous World Cups. In the 1999 World cup, he played 8 matches, averaged 13.28 runs (with a highest score of 37). He took 1 wicket (ave 115.00). In the 2003 World Cup he played 3 matches and averaged 5.33. He took 3 wickets (ave 48.00). And somehow in the 2007 tournament he will blaze the path to our victory??

  • ashaq on December 1, 2006, 17:48 GMT

    Although i am an afridi fan,I do think this is the right decision.There seems too a complete lack of professionalism in afridis attitude.We need players who are dedicated too the sport and who spend hours upon hours in practice trying too improve there game and work hard too iron out there flaws.Talent alone can only get you so far we need players with dedication a 100% commitment too team and country.For example Nasser hussain of England was not the most naturally gifted of players.But he spent hours at his fathers indoor coaching clinic a converted shed.spending thousands of hours practicing his game too help get him too the level he did.And as a Captain when he lost form for a while he went back too his fathers indoor gym and spent weeks practising.With the school kids his father coaches.Onus is ultimately on individual players too rectify ther mistakes and seek out individuals who can help them if mohammed yousuf can seek out the help off mushtaq ahmed too help increase his performance.Whats stopping afridi from seeking out the likes off saeed anwar , aamir sohail, rashid latif too help his batting and the likes off mushtaq ahmed,abdul qadeer,saqlain mushtaq, too help improve his spin bowling.I read recently Wasim akram saying that he had through out his career actively sought out the advice off bowlers such as lilee, Holding,Marshall E.t.c. Shane warne stated how he had actively sought the help off Abdul qadeer whilst on a tour too pakistan many years ago and how much that advice had helped improve his performance.On the flip side you Have Danish Kaneria on his site Big star cricket stateing he did not consider it necessary too learn or attend the bowling clinics run by Abdul Qadeer, because he wanted do what was necessary on his own.yet some one as arrogant Shane warne can be humble enough too seek advice.I feel Afridi is not professional in his attitude or dedicated enough too warrant his place in the squad.We need athletes who are willing and humble enough too improve there performance more Umar Guls and Mohammed yOusafs and less Shahid Afridis and Shoaib Akhtars please!!!

  • Sheraz Soofi on December 1, 2006, 17:09 GMT

    I think selector have given him more time to play in domestic circuit to get his form back at least for the South African tour and im pretty sure that he will be in the squad for the next series no matter what goes around "its just another PCB thing." Afridi has been given alot of chances and looking at his form in recent times he haven't really performed. And i like Zahra's comment i think its time for us to start looking for a player who is not just a "show-off" but who can also deliver something to the team. Also, i agree that Abdul Razzaq is a must have in the ODI's simply because he is a true match winner. He has won more matches for Pakistan than anybody in the squad in recent times. And Malik is our Mr. Consistent in ODI's he was the only one along with Yousuf to score runs in Champions Trophy so he is a must. I hope this ejection from the team sends Afridi a wake-up alarm because now he will have to fight for his spot.

  • Obaid Ilyas on December 1, 2006, 17:07 GMT

    Since 2005 Afridi has played 42 ODI games in which he has taken 40 wickets at 33.7 rpo and scored 752 runs at an avg of 17.9 and a highest score of 56. How those numbers show him to be a match winner is beyond my understanding. Statistics may deceive at times but they are glaring obvious here. Our star player, talisman, aggressor and match winner is a thing of the past (if it was ever true in the first place). You can be out of form for a few games not for 42. Seeing him play in the games before he was dropped his fielding is also not what it was. The last two Champions Trophy games also confirmed what was becoming fairly obvious that he has no answer to bowling aimed at his head (same goes for Razzaq who should be given the boot next). No team is about to serve up half volleys to him anymore when they know he is so vulnerable to the short ball. And Afridi doesn't have the brain to work at his game because he never had either.

    I think we all hoped for the day Afridi would grow up and learn a bit about batting. But unfortunately the day never came and now his time is definitely up.

  • Hamaad Ravda on December 1, 2006, 17:01 GMT

    For all the talk about Afridi's batting, he has more than made a place for himself in the team on the basis of his bowling and fielding only, not to mention the good cheer and the spirit that he brings to the team. I am not a huge fan of Afridi's batting, even on his best days, because stupidity is always the end of him. Afridi will forever invite criticism if only because he is so prodigiously talented, his gift is also his curse. However, going back to his bowling, Afridi has been a solid operator in this regard. In the last year and a half he has gotten 29 wickets at an average of less than 28, with an economy rate hovering around 4.3. For my money, that is performance solid enough to merit a place in the side, irrespective of what he does with his batting.

    As someone else pointed out - the eyes should probably be pointed somewhere else. For instance, it doesn't make much sense to have Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan in the same team. The way Inzamam uses Malik, he is not much of an all-rounder for Pakistan, so lets evaluate both purely in terms of their batting skills.

  • Ali Asim on December 1, 2006, 16:59 GMT

    Tahir, if you think that Pakistan won the World Cup in 1992 by riding on the performances of just a couple players and Imran's captaincy, then I must say that you're being naive. World cup 1992 was one of the few occassions when Pakistan played like a unit and won the tournament as a team not because of any individual performances. Do you seriously think that we would had a slicest of a chance without the likes of Miandad, Rameez, Aamir, Mushy, Akram, Aaquib, Inzy, Imran etc. That was the most balanced team PCB ever came out with. And thats exactly what we need now, a well balanced team. And my friend, for now Afridi doesnt fit into that frame of balance I'm talking about. Maybe later when he sorts out his form and grows a little maturity and sense. But for now, I support the step PCB has taken to follow the form not the name.

  • ali on December 1, 2006, 16:53 GMT

    euceph you maybe have forgottent that these afridis and shoaibs you talk about are the real entertainers

    someone make him understand plz

  • salman ali shah on December 1, 2006, 16:41 GMT

    absolute stupidity.Wasim bari and co are devoid of any sense.We fail to understand why PCB has persisted with this dummy,yes man.He has destroyed many a players.On the verge of WC and you drop shahid afridi against WI.Senseless.This is PCB,s mismanagement at best

  • Ali Asim on December 1, 2006, 16:37 GMT

    Right on Farooq. Could'nt have said any better. Afridi is over rated. Look at his record. Yes he entertains, he's a crowd pleaser but brings a huge amount on uncertainty with him. Which is unacceptable at the international stage. You talk about professionalism, try your best to convince me that Afridi is a professional campainer, you fail miserabily. The way he throws his wicket puts a humongous amount of pressure on the following batting line up and gifts the opponents an undesserved upper hand. His temperament in the dressing room doesnt help the cause either. He could rightfully earn his place back if he rectifies these problems.

  • Saad on December 1, 2006, 16:35 GMT

    Relax he is no Gilchrist. If you wanna include Afridi, I would drop Younis first.

    ODI arena is not the ideal place to find your form. There is a reason we have domestic cricket.

  • Tahir Saleem on December 1, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    Reply to: Euceph Ahmed at December 1, 2006 4:16 PM.

    Yes, we know cricket is a team game, that's why eleven are picked to play!! Just remember New Zealand never win anything because they play as a unit. Pakistan won the World cup with what looked a shambolic team, because of the leadership of Imran, and the individual brilliance of 2 players. Within a team you need match winners!

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 1, 2006, 16:16 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I don't think you realize that Pakistan cricket is turning a corner. The days of the "Chowkka-Chhikka-Gilli" cricketers are getting over. It's going back to the basics, back to teamwork, back to being a sport, away from selfish individual play and away from being cheap entertainment. You endorse Tahir Saleem's point of view that Pakistan is fast running out of match-winners. Well, let me remind you that cricket is a team sport. In the end, it's about winning, not about flashy individual performances. If Pakistan has a semblance of a chance in the world cup it will be based on the whole team firing on all cylinders. Australia has not dominated world cricket through some flashy bling bling cheap shots. I am no great fan of Inzamam's captaincy, but I applaud him for having the guts to take some bold decisions. Like you, I am no great fan of the PCB either, but a spade has to be called a spade. As Osman Ali Khairi said, you tend to castigate every decision made by the PCB. For you they're in damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of a situation.

    For now, let's celebrate the Mohammad Yousufs and the Umar Guls of Pakistan team. Let's celebrate winning. The hell with the Shoaib Akhtars and Afridis. The hell with bling bling. And the hell with "Chowka-Chikka-Gilli" cricketers.

  • Hussain on December 1, 2006, 16:13 GMT

    I can understand why he was dropped for one-day squad but for the test series, it's mind boggling. He has had such a good year in tests, why would you drop him just cuz his one day form has been bad? And then they have the audacity to select Abdul Razzaq in tests when he has performed way worse than afridi.

  • Nasir on December 1, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    Leaving Afridi out is a good thing because of his poor form in recent months. His body langauage was not very positive either. Missing a few games will re-ignite that flame and he can be back for South Africa and the World Cup. Not that Afridi requries too many practice games to get going again. He is one player you can pick and drop anytime.

  • Tahir Saleem on December 1, 2006, 16:04 GMT

    Question for Farooq..ref 3.43 post.

    Whilst I agree with some of your thoughts, if we are talking stats.. how many No 7 or 8's in ODi's do you know who average 23 with the bat, which increases to 27 or so if you filter it to more recent mates ( last 50 or so ). Not to mention his strike rate and no of 6's!!!

  • Amyn Habib on December 1, 2006, 15:59 GMT

    This is a smart decision. Afridi clearly has a lot of fans, the good doctor (Abbasi) being foremost among them. But to others he is a pathetic batsman and a long term liability for the team. His record speaks for itself, as others have pointed out. His unique talent lies in his ability to get selected to the team year after year regardless of performance. It is true that on lifeless pitches, against mediocre Indian bowlers, he can hit hard and score quickly, perhaps faster than anyone else. But alas, those occasions are so rare. Most of the time he just thrashes about for a bit, and then gets out, embarrassing himself and the team. These days he does not even seem to be able to reach double figures. And he hardly merits inclusion in the team as a specialist bowler. It is foolish to expect him to make a meaningful and consistent contribution as a batsman.

  • Zubair Shahab on December 1, 2006, 15:49 GMT

    Can't agree with you there Kamran. After being dropped from the tests, Afridi has really worked hard in the domestic level to prove that he deserves his place. More effort from him really won't hurt him. He is capable of so much more then he has provided thus far and the selectors have not dropped him to dent his confidence, but to reinvigorate the fire within him.

  • farooq on December 1, 2006, 15:43 GMT

    there have been a lot of comments about how shahid afridi is a match winner. i totally disagree with this comment, inzamam,yousef, razzaq....they are match winners. i could probably count on my two hands how many times afridi has won pakistan a one day match. Its one thing having talent its another thing fulfilling your talent. he has no application in his batting...every time he walks to the crease you expect him to hit one six and get out and he rarely disappoints. if pakistan needed 50 of 40 balls in the world cup final...no body would want shahid afridi to come to the crease to win it for pakistan.

    he has been given to many opportunities to prove himself and he has failed. 233 one day matches at an average of 23. how can anybody call him a match winner!

  • Tahir Saleem on December 1, 2006, 15:33 GMT

    Further to my post at 1.50pm I would just add that it's the naivety of our cricket supremo's that frustrates me and their arrogance that makes my blood boil!! I apologise for dwelling on the 'Oval' fiasco again, but Sheheryar Khan's interview straight after, his subsequent press conference comments i.e. about damage to the ball being caused by sixes from Pietersen's bat. Then there was Naseem Ashraf standing outside the dressing room giving it the 'thumbs up', Pakistan are ready to play....without the full realisation of the actual situation. Then the teams gets told to be careful about its public display of everyday Islamic practices. You wonder how they get away with it!! Just because you succeeded in another field doesn’t automatically qualify you as an authority on cricketing ( or even moral ) issues, particularly when player's careers and livelihoods, and a nation's passion are on the line. The significance to this debate is that they may well still take him to the World cup, without playing in this series. It's not logical, but it might just be their logic!

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 1, 2006, 15:20 GMT

    In cricket only 11 players are allowed on the field.Hence it is important Pakistan select their best team.At the moment in one dayers Pakistan s selecting a team which is good but still too many allrounders kill a position for a genuine specialist bowler.Afridi i believe is a player to be in the squad and he or Razzaq should be selected in the team on the basis of the conditions.Now that Pakistan don't have many wicket taking bowlers it would be wise to play Kaneria.Also, I feel Pakistan find it tough to take wickets after the powerplays so this inclusion could definitely help the cause of keeping up the pressure on opposition teams after pressure has been caused by the pacers.However it would have been better if it was not at the expense of Shahid Afridi.

  • ali on December 1, 2006, 15:18 GMT

    afridi afridi afridi!!! dont we all love him. i have to say i am one of the biggest afridi fans around.

    i couldnt wait for afridi to come out and if someone else was sent before him to bat i would get upset, but when he did come out he has dissapointed alot too!!

    i was surprised at his exclusion. but it was predicatable. how long can you keep underperforming and expect to be picked for the team. south africa & australia both would not keep a player in there squad who has been underperforming for so long.

    afridi needs coaching and discipline he has huge talent but he needs to put it in use rather then play rash shots and throw it away.

    i hope he rediscovers his form and makes it back in to the squad all the beast afridi.

    we will be waiting for your return to the squad and also your return....

  • babar zia on December 1, 2006, 14:55 GMT

    as copied from crici info "...just 114 runs from 17 matches at an average of just over eight..."

    you perform you play.......you don't perform you get dropped.......case closed

  • Saud Ahmed, BEWAL on December 1, 2006, 14:48 GMT

    In my personal opinion, i think it was a wise decision to drop Shahid from the series because he is totally out of form.if he was included in the squad and didn't perform then that would have demaged his confidence even more. 1 thing we shouldn't forget is Pakistan really need him for the world cup.Now atleast he wil play domestic cricket and hope fully gain his confidence and form back and be ready for the world cup. Anotha POINT I WOULD LOVE TO MENTION is that its jus not Afridi's fault that he didn't perform well this year. Mangement including the captain who make the decsions about the bating order have also contributed in his downfall.we all know he is eitha good at top of the order (if he gets goin) or at lower middle order so y dont you u jus keep him at one position.Y IS HE ALWAYS TRIED AT ALL THE DIFFERENT BATIN POSITION?1 match he opens, the next he bats at no7 n then da match afta he opens again.I mean hes bin messed around wiv so many times which has really reduced his confidence and damaged.Now can some body answer 1 of my questions. Was sendin afridi in at no5 against srilanka in icc champ trophy a wise decision? and thats especially when sri lanka had murli n jayasuriya (spinners) , their best bowlers on the day, on? All i wana say to the PCB is they have made a good decision by dropping him so he can gain confidence and his form back in domestic cricket but once he is back in the Pakistan team, then PLZ PLZ PLZ Let him play at one position, dont make him QURBAANI KA BAKRA all the time!There isn't many players like afridi in the world and we r loosin a great player by makin decisions which dont make much sense, Management!

  • Faraz Ahmed on December 1, 2006, 14:34 GMT

    Could not agree with you more. Being a selector is a full time job, who spends time watching every player at Domestic level in the ground. Not some one who sits on an executive chair and makes a decision by just watching TV.

  • Abbas Khan on December 1, 2006, 14:32 GMT

    Like someone said, Afridi can win a match if he fires with the bat, is our best fielder (saves 25 runs at least in the field) and is a good ODI bowler and has won matches for us with the ball. If he can win 2 out of 10 matches with his bat singlehandedly and fail in all the rest, I think he justifies his place. I mean, what are the other 10 players there for ?? I think Afridi has suffered from his own brilliance by attracting unreasonable expectations from us fans. If Afridi comes into any decent form with the bat over the next few months, he will make Pakistan proud. Leave him out now, and he's pretty much useless if he get selected for the WC - which he probably will knowing the PCB !!!

  • Ali Asim on December 1, 2006, 14:30 GMT

    It would be insane to call this decision, dropping Shahid Afridi, a shocker. Perhaps I think that he should have been dropped earlier to give some other specialist young talent much more needed practice before South Africa and then the World Cup. I agree Afridi had his days of glory and on his day could turn the tables single handedly. But cricket is the game of talent, consistency and maturity. He certainly does not lack the talent but the latter two have post questions throughout his career. And I would dis-agree again if you'd argue about the size of his name in Pakistan cricket. Well, we saw what happened when PCB could'nt drop Razzaq from the test side considering it may post too many questions regarding the size of his name. I whole heartedly agree with this stern decision taken by PCB to go for the form not the name. How did you think Australia became leaders of the game?

  • Kamran Abbasi on December 1, 2006, 14:21 GMT

    Hang on a minute. I'm not "castigating" the board for the sake of an artificial debate. I do really--and you may consider me deluded for holding this view--believe that Afridi must to be in the one-day squad to give him a chance to rediscover his international form. Conditions in this series will be ideal for him to regain his confidence. He is a match-winner and as Tahir Saleem observed, Pakistan are fast running out of them--unless of course Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar make a dramatic comeback. I don't see any fresh thinking or solutions in the latest squad. Selection is one area that the cricket board has failed to cover itself in glory for many years, and I make no apologies for continuing to point it out.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on December 1, 2006, 14:11 GMT

    I usually acquiesce with Kamran on issues pertaining to team selection and other cricketing issues. However, I think Kamran has it wrong this time. Castigating the board just for the sake of criticism and trying to stir up a mind boggling debate, is something I think Kamran should avoid. Afridi afterall, has been given ample chances to prove his worth in the international arena. And though, no one questions his astounding talent or his innate ability to smash decent balls for sixes, fact is he needs to do alot more to cement his place in the side. Simply put, Afridi has been a major disappointment. As Zahra, has appropriately pointed out, we need more than just an enterntainer! The board or the selection committee had to set a precedent. No one can their place in the team for granted by virtue of their image or their once in a blue moon performances.

  • Masaood Yunus on December 1, 2006, 14:02 GMT

    Correct decision .. He hasn't been performing. On top, He hasn't regained form even in the domestic circuit. What do we expect. Its better to have Yasir Hameed in the team as a specialist batsman as Pakistan already has performing all rounders in Shoaib Malik, Mohd Hafeez and Abdul Razzaq. This is a wake up call for Afridi .. fight for your spot !

  • Tahir Saleem on December 1, 2006, 13:50 GMT

    Pakistan have probably lost Asif, and Shoiab already from they World cup. They are about to discard Afridi, all you need now is someone to tell Inzamam he is woefully out of form, and Yousef that he scores to slowly in the ODI format!! Lose all your match winners, and then the selectors can be the stars!!! Decent players not dippy diplomats, that's what Pakistan cricket needs! Afridi has spirit and fight, not to mention a certain amount of talent! Don't judge him by his failure in seaming English conditions. No body doubts his talent, this could have been the perfect series to sort his head out!

  • Sohail on December 1, 2006, 13:29 GMT

    Not entirely a bad decision, I'ld say. With his recent form, Afridi has become some kind of a gamble. And his bowling is not much to speak of. In the Champions trophy, Hafeez proved himself to be a better bowler. Malik is also a better option than Afridi. Razzaq is a must have for ODIs. That leaves no place for Afridi. I think it was not a bad decision at all. Kamran, please avoid hyperboles. While a debate on this issue - or any issue, for that matter - is a healthy activity, it's uncalled for to disparage every decison of the board or the selection committee the way you did.

  • Owais Ehsan on December 1, 2006, 12:21 GMT

    I agree , another ridiclous decision , Afridi should be in the ODI team , he is a better bowler than rana / sami / malik (economically) and is a great fielder , he is low on batting form - but that is temporary and the wickets in WI are not going to be any differnet from wickets here in Pak ,so i think again PCB has done a dumb thing - just like razzak playing test matches.

  • Zahra on December 1, 2006, 12:02 GMT

    Yeah it is a great shock...but we need some one to win for the country, not just for entertainment. He should develop himself to be an entertainer with high positive results.

  • Umair Jafri RIYADH on December 1, 2006, 11:58 GMT

    Its a good and bad decision. Although he is one of the biggest players in Pakistan Cricket, but the main problem these days is that, he is OUT OF FORM first of all, SECONDLY there is no time for the PCB to try out different things right now, especially when someone is really unexpected. He is a great player for the lower middle order but we still cannot anticipate whether he will provide a good outcome in the end or not. The problem of unpredictibility is holding him back I think, otherwise he can distroy the careers.

  • ABDUL AZEEM on December 1, 2006, 11:44 GMT

    I am Shocked to read the news that Afridi had not included in ODI squad. A man who has the guts to convert every ball to six is not in the squad, the Quick scorer in the world is not in the Squad. The All-rounder who is named to break the partnerships is note squat.

  • naveen on December 1, 2006, 10:34 GMT

    i think it's a highly ridiculous decision of the PCB to leave out afridi from the ODI series.He's known for his ruthless onslaught on the bowlers.And more so, he's best suited for ODI's.

  • Ehtasham Usmani on December 1, 2006, 10:32 GMT

    I think its the right decision to drop Afridi,the inclusion of Afridi will disturb the balance of Pakistan's ODI team as too many all rounders will be in the team, if Afridi is to be included in the team, in should be on the expense of any other all rounder, not any specialist!

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  • Ehtasham Usmani on December 1, 2006, 10:32 GMT

    I think its the right decision to drop Afridi,the inclusion of Afridi will disturb the balance of Pakistan's ODI team as too many all rounders will be in the team, if Afridi is to be included in the team, in should be on the expense of any other all rounder, not any specialist!

  • naveen on December 1, 2006, 10:34 GMT

    i think it's a highly ridiculous decision of the PCB to leave out afridi from the ODI series.He's known for his ruthless onslaught on the bowlers.And more so, he's best suited for ODI's.

  • ABDUL AZEEM on December 1, 2006, 11:44 GMT

    I am Shocked to read the news that Afridi had not included in ODI squad. A man who has the guts to convert every ball to six is not in the squad, the Quick scorer in the world is not in the Squad. The All-rounder who is named to break the partnerships is note squat.

  • Umair Jafri RIYADH on December 1, 2006, 11:58 GMT

    Its a good and bad decision. Although he is one of the biggest players in Pakistan Cricket, but the main problem these days is that, he is OUT OF FORM first of all, SECONDLY there is no time for the PCB to try out different things right now, especially when someone is really unexpected. He is a great player for the lower middle order but we still cannot anticipate whether he will provide a good outcome in the end or not. The problem of unpredictibility is holding him back I think, otherwise he can distroy the careers.

  • Zahra on December 1, 2006, 12:02 GMT

    Yeah it is a great shock...but we need some one to win for the country, not just for entertainment. He should develop himself to be an entertainer with high positive results.

  • Owais Ehsan on December 1, 2006, 12:21 GMT

    I agree , another ridiclous decision , Afridi should be in the ODI team , he is a better bowler than rana / sami / malik (economically) and is a great fielder , he is low on batting form - but that is temporary and the wickets in WI are not going to be any differnet from wickets here in Pak ,so i think again PCB has done a dumb thing - just like razzak playing test matches.

  • Sohail on December 1, 2006, 13:29 GMT

    Not entirely a bad decision, I'ld say. With his recent form, Afridi has become some kind of a gamble. And his bowling is not much to speak of. In the Champions trophy, Hafeez proved himself to be a better bowler. Malik is also a better option than Afridi. Razzaq is a must have for ODIs. That leaves no place for Afridi. I think it was not a bad decision at all. Kamran, please avoid hyperboles. While a debate on this issue - or any issue, for that matter - is a healthy activity, it's uncalled for to disparage every decison of the board or the selection committee the way you did.

  • Tahir Saleem on December 1, 2006, 13:50 GMT

    Pakistan have probably lost Asif, and Shoiab already from they World cup. They are about to discard Afridi, all you need now is someone to tell Inzamam he is woefully out of form, and Yousef that he scores to slowly in the ODI format!! Lose all your match winners, and then the selectors can be the stars!!! Decent players not dippy diplomats, that's what Pakistan cricket needs! Afridi has spirit and fight, not to mention a certain amount of talent! Don't judge him by his failure in seaming English conditions. No body doubts his talent, this could have been the perfect series to sort his head out!

  • Masaood Yunus on December 1, 2006, 14:02 GMT

    Correct decision .. He hasn't been performing. On top, He hasn't regained form even in the domestic circuit. What do we expect. Its better to have Yasir Hameed in the team as a specialist batsman as Pakistan already has performing all rounders in Shoaib Malik, Mohd Hafeez and Abdul Razzaq. This is a wake up call for Afridi .. fight for your spot !

  • Osman Ali Khairi on December 1, 2006, 14:11 GMT

    I usually acquiesce with Kamran on issues pertaining to team selection and other cricketing issues. However, I think Kamran has it wrong this time. Castigating the board just for the sake of criticism and trying to stir up a mind boggling debate, is something I think Kamran should avoid. Afridi afterall, has been given ample chances to prove his worth in the international arena. And though, no one questions his astounding talent or his innate ability to smash decent balls for sixes, fact is he needs to do alot more to cement his place in the side. Simply put, Afridi has been a major disappointment. As Zahra, has appropriately pointed out, we need more than just an enterntainer! The board or the selection committee had to set a precedent. No one can their place in the team for granted by virtue of their image or their once in a blue moon performances.