Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011-12 November 2, 2011

Afridi returns to Pakistan ODI squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan captain, has been included in the Pakistan squad for the ODIs and Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. Afridi recently came out of his self-imposed retirement following Zaka Ashraf's appointment as PCB chairman in place of Ijaz Butt. On the day he took office, Ashraf said he would meet with Afridi to discuss the situation and that he believed the allrounder still had plenty to offer the national side. The pair met earlier today and following the meeting, Afridi was back in the national side.

"I am ready to play cricket either as a player or captain," Afridi told reporters after his meeting with Ashraf. "I still have cricket left in me and a lot to offer for my country. It is always a privilege to lead the side but the captain has always been a scapegoat."

Afridi had retired in protest over the way he was treated by the PCB under Butt, following Pakistan's ODI series against the West Indies in April and May. A dispute between him and then coach Waqar Younis became public and Afridi was censured by the board and fined rupees 4.5 million ($52,300) for violating its code of conduct.

Allrounder Abdul Razzaq also returns to the squad after being dropped following Pakistan's World Cup semi-final loss to India. Razzaq missed out on Pakistan's tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe, despite being under contract, and said he did not think his exclusion was justified given that he did not have enough opportunities to perform in the tournament.

The selectors have dropped Wahab Riaz after resting him for the tour of Zimbabwe, but Umar Gul returns to lead the attack. He will be backed up by Junaid Khan, who has impressed against Sri Lanka in the ongoing Test series, Aizaz Cheema, who has also done well since making his debut against Zimbabwe, and Sohail Tanvir.

The other major change is the selection of Sarfraz Ahmed as wicketkeeper in place of Adnan Akmal. Sarfraz has played nine one-dayers in his career, the last coming against Australia in Perth in January. The selectors had stuck with Adnan for the sake of stability, and had been concerned about Sarfraz's ability with the bat, but his domestic performances this season have convinced them to give him another shot. In four Quaid--e-Azam Trophy games, he has scored 388 runs at an average of 97.00, with two hundreds and a fifty.

Former captain and allrounder Shoaib Malik has retained his place despite struggling during the Zimbabwe series, where he averaged just 8.00 from three matches. Misbah-ul-Haq will captain the side, which will play five ODIs and one Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka, the first of which will be played on November 11.

Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq

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  • Asim on November 5, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Hi (Imtiaz Jamal )

    I think you made a fair line up, but not the complete one as the players quality and talent concern. in my view Afridi in only a bowler then you call him All rounder as Tanvir, Malik and Umar Akmal. I would prefer this line up as their talent and qualities :

    1) Mohammad Hafeez 2) Shoib Malik 3) Abdul Razzaq 4) Younus Khan 5) Misbah-Ul-Haq 6) Umar Akmal 7) Sarfaraz Ahmed 8) Shahid Afridi 9) Sohail Tanvir 10 ) Umar Gul 11) Saeed Ajmal. that line up is prefect because of Four specialist Bowler ( Gul, Tanvir , Ajmal, Afridi ) and Two All Rounders ( Razzaq & Hafeez) and Four Batsman ( Younus , Misbah , U Akmal , Malik ) Plus One WK Sarfaraz Ahmed. Abdul Razzaq is a quality All Rounder that can play a long innings in ODIs as we all know and he deserve to play as one down in batting line up in this team as he did very well in the past and as a senior player in this team he should utilize as his quality and talent.

    Regards ( Ahmad Asim )

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    we dont want to see afridi back in team..........we want abdul razzaq......

  • imtiaz on November 5, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Playing XI should be with batting order.1).Muhammad Hafeez.2)Asad Shafiq.3)Younis Khan.4)Shoaib Malik.5)Misbah-Ul-Haq (capt).6)Umar Akmal (wkt).7)Shahid Afridi.8)Abdur Razzaq.9)Sohail Taveer10.)Umar Gul.11)Junaid Khan.Nine Batsmen as per Batting order, six All rounders Hafeez,Malik,Umar Akmal,Afridi,Razzaq,tanveer, four fast bowlers Gul,Junaid,Tanveer,Razzaq and three spinners Hafeez,Malik,Afridi.I think with these explanations there is no place for some other guys in the playing XI.Who is with me? Please vote for that.

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    instead of farhat ahmad shezad or taufiq umar and aizaz cheema should be replacwd by wahab riaz

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    playing XI should be : M, Hafeez, S.k Afrdi, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah Ul Haq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    Wahab Riaz would have been a good selection, he has pace, he can reverse the ball and is a good fielder and we should not forget he is a big match player *5 against india, World cup semi-final* so i would have him instead of sohail tanveer

  • Mike on November 4, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    What happened to Mohammad Yusuf, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Amir? Pakistan cricket will be a joke without these 3 Mohammads :(

  • Salman on November 4, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Wahab Riaz is obviously under the cosh and in the radar now, in the wake of spot-fixing scandal. Akmal is another whose turn is coming swiftly as his cruel treatment of Pak cricket when he let off Hussey repeatedly in Sydney (and then slap the ball to deep cover into the waiting hands of Watson when we were close to a win) to set up Aus victory, will sink the man surely.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    wahab riaz is a good omission. He didnt really have a large variety of bowling skills to boost his chances, plus a hefty economy rate.

  • bob on November 3, 2011, 21:38 GMT

    once again good selection, except for the eternal sore that is imran farhat.

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