Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2013-14 December 26, 2013

Afridi returns home from the UAE

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Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has returned home to be with his unwell daughter and will miss the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka in the UAE. He had also withdrawn from his contract with South African franchise Knights last week for the same reason.

Afridi was set to fly to Pakistan on Thursday, and has a two-month gap until his next international assignment - Pakistan have no limited-over cricket until the Asia Cup in February, followed by World Twenty20 in March. PCB confirmed in the early hours of Thursday that Afridi is "returning home due to his illness of his daughter".

Pakistan have already clinched the five-match ODI series 3-1, but Afridi has remained off-colour with the ball, averaging 30.80 in the four games. He has played a couple of cameos with the bat, though, with 34 off 12 balls and 30 off 15 in the first and second ODI respectively.

With Pakistan having unassailable series lead, his exclusion won't hurt Pakistan too much, and will allow the team management to test its bench strength. Anwar Ali is the strongest candidate to replace Afridi. The PCB hasn't announced any replacement for him, deciding to stick with the remaining squad.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    May Allah SWT bless Afridi' s daughter with swift recovery. We should accept that Afridi is a match winning player, though the number game may not reflect. He always remains a key point to bring a good name to the country and a natural entertainer too

  • on December 28, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    Hope your Daughter will recover soon,,,,, May the blessings of Triple Gem with her...

  • on December 28, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    may Allah bless your daughter and give her a fast recovery. Ameen!

  • maxblackhunt on December 28, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Clearly the writer's not a very big fan of Afridi. Shahid has proved his importance more than once in the ongoing series already with his amazing knocks.

  • Sinhaya on December 27, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    Wishing your daughter a speedy recovery.

  • samuel1990 on December 27, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Reply to the person who made a comment on 1:06 gmt..... I agree with you that he may not be the best batsman in the world, although being an Indian, ii still admire and enjoy his batting. I have never missed to watch his batting since 1999. He has played some knocks no other batsmen had played like that...... But he is not the same Afridi of the 2000s.

  • on December 27, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Dear Shahid Afridi, Your daughter may get well as soon as you reached home, I think.

  • on December 27, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    height of favoritism in some comments. You need to understand what writer is saying. nothing negative in there. he is not a part timer. he is your front line bowler. So what you expect him to do if not getting few wickets or stopping runs flow? And he is there for his batting also. so that is why alone bowling not much talked about. Ajmal was more consistent for past 3 years but have you seen much talk about it? Gul has been good in last 2 odis, did you see any talk about him? Hafeez and afridi are there for batting as well and that is why whenever they bat well, they are praised more. and the writer has praised his batting effort in 2 games.

    This article is about what happened and why he went back home. Its not about an examination of performance. and should focus on some well wishes.

    may ALLAH bless his daughter with good health.

  • tashichem on December 27, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    During the series he remained active all times, getting wickets at crucial times as well. big contribution, when its over 300 or near 300 each game then this much of average of bowling is acceptable with reasonable wickets

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    @Jonathan Collins he is the only man to score over 7,500 runs and take over 350 wickets in ODIs. I think he would manage perfectly fine getting into other teams. He is also on track for 400-500 ODI wickets and 8,500 plus runs.

  • on December 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    May Allah SWT bless Afridi' s daughter with swift recovery. We should accept that Afridi is a match winning player, though the number game may not reflect. He always remains a key point to bring a good name to the country and a natural entertainer too

  • on December 28, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    Hope your Daughter will recover soon,,,,, May the blessings of Triple Gem with her...

  • on December 28, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    may Allah bless your daughter and give her a fast recovery. Ameen!

  • maxblackhunt on December 28, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Clearly the writer's not a very big fan of Afridi. Shahid has proved his importance more than once in the ongoing series already with his amazing knocks.

  • Sinhaya on December 27, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    Wishing your daughter a speedy recovery.

  • samuel1990 on December 27, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    Reply to the person who made a comment on 1:06 gmt..... I agree with you that he may not be the best batsman in the world, although being an Indian, ii still admire and enjoy his batting. I have never missed to watch his batting since 1999. He has played some knocks no other batsmen had played like that...... But he is not the same Afridi of the 2000s.

  • on December 27, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Dear Shahid Afridi, Your daughter may get well as soon as you reached home, I think.

  • on December 27, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    height of favoritism in some comments. You need to understand what writer is saying. nothing negative in there. he is not a part timer. he is your front line bowler. So what you expect him to do if not getting few wickets or stopping runs flow? And he is there for his batting also. so that is why alone bowling not much talked about. Ajmal was more consistent for past 3 years but have you seen much talk about it? Gul has been good in last 2 odis, did you see any talk about him? Hafeez and afridi are there for batting as well and that is why whenever they bat well, they are praised more. and the writer has praised his batting effort in 2 games.

    This article is about what happened and why he went back home. Its not about an examination of performance. and should focus on some well wishes.

    may ALLAH bless his daughter with good health.

  • tashichem on December 27, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    During the series he remained active all times, getting wickets at crucial times as well. big contribution, when its over 300 or near 300 each game then this much of average of bowling is acceptable with reasonable wickets

  • on December 27, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    @Jonathan Collins he is the only man to score over 7,500 runs and take over 350 wickets in ODIs. I think he would manage perfectly fine getting into other teams. He is also on track for 400-500 ODI wickets and 8,500 plus runs.

  • SohailMirza on December 27, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    May ALLAH ALMIGHTY Bless your daughter. AMEEN. You're our hero .. We Love you.

  • Desihungama on December 27, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    I am not too sure of the article's purpose other than he is the most polarized cricketer and a real diva of cricket but nonetheless a showman. Pure Entertainment.

  • Sachit1979 on December 27, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    God bless Lala's daughter. Hope she gets well soon.

  • on December 27, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    @Johnathan, CRICKETING WORLD is not listening you just see his Major teams: Pakistan, Asia XI, Deccan Chargers, Dhaka Gladiators, Fly Emirates XI, Griqualand West, Habib Bank Limited, Hampshire, ICC World XI, Karachi, Leicestershire, Melbourne Renegades, South Australia.

  • on December 27, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    Most over rated cricketer of all time. Batting average of 23 in one day cricket and is thought of as one of the best one day batters. wouldn't make any other international team

  • on December 26, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Allah give his daughter a speedy recovery Ameen, Cricket is not Cricket without BOOM BOOM Afridi.

  • on December 26, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    May Allah blessed his daughter, their is no replacement for this man in cricketing world. We need you man for another long term. Wish you best of luck for you as will for your beloved daughter.

  • on December 26, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Not good at all, Afridi is inching towards another milestone, he reqiures more 25 wickets his 400 ODi Wicket,he should play more games,Damm luck to him,i hope he will play in Asia Cup 2014

  • on December 26, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    @bouncer709 In this series Afridi averaged 33. He has scored more than Umar Akmal and his average is better than Sharjeel. Ofcourse his strike rate of 200 is more than anyone. So what are you talking about? He has taken more wickets than Hafeez, Sohail Tanvir, and Bilawal Bhatti. Yet you suggest he went back due to "poor" form, and not because of his daughter? This is height of blind hatred.

  • on December 26, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    May Allah give health to his daughter.

  • on December 26, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    May god bless his daughter with speedy recovery.

  • on December 26, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    May Allah bless his daughter with speedy recovery (Ameen)

  • on December 26, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    Afridi lala has played very well against Sri Lanka. Do not forget his match winning innings in T2020 match where i thought Pakistan will lose it easily but afridi just turn around the results while batting marvelously.

    I wish that his daughter get well soon and we can see afridi back in green colors to win asia cup and wc 2020.

    Afridi is biggest superstar in Pakistani team and without him we all will get sad.

  • on December 26, 2013, 14:03 GMT

    Well! He deserves to prioritise his family and he did exactly what was needed..He is a team man..a true sportsman and a great patriot..A great time for pak team to test it's bench strength..infact Misbah, Shahzad, bilawal should all sit out to let Anwar Ali, Abdur Rehman , Harris Sohail, Asad Shafiq be tested with nothing to loose, as the series is secured..Good job Team Pakistan!.

  • Herath-UK on December 26, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Wish his daughter all the best with blessings from Noble Triple Gem. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • keptalittlelow on December 26, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    May ALLAH Taalah bless Shahid's daughter. He is the biggest Moral booster for Pakistan Cricket team, he drives the whole team.

  • bouncer709 on December 26, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Off colour with bowing? LOL, people want to see Afridi batting, if he score 20 runs on 10 balls they call him good, but if he get wkts of top class batsmen, ABD, Sangakara, Dilshan they still think he if off colour. People think about cricket, just as batsmen game, this is why a batmen scoring century (Yesterday Hafeez) get Man of the Match, but Umer Gul who broke the backbone of Srilankan batting order by picking 3 top order wkts yesterday was ignored, and Saeed Ajmal 4-39 was also ignored.

  • on December 26, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    May Allah bless her daughter with health - Summa AMEEN. I am going to Madina and e'nshallah I will pray her daughter.

  • on December 26, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    No Afridi.Sri Lanka must win the final ODI.Afridi has played well against S.L.most of the times starting with fastest 100 in Kenya long time back.

  • Abdullah07272 on December 26, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    May Allah bless his daughter with health

  • on December 26, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    May ALLAH bless his daughter......

  • Geniusofcric on December 26, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Get well soon (Ameen), hope we'll see Lala back in action again in Asia CUP 2014 with the same form

  • on December 26, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    off colour?....hmm interesting call...I disagree completely

  • Stark62 on December 26, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Very unfortunate circumstances and especially, when he was hitting form with the bat and his bowling has been superb for the last 2-3 years but I hope his daughter gets well soon and lives a healthy life.

  • on December 26, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    God bless afridi n his dotr

  • on December 26, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Lala will come back soon,inshallah

  • on December 26, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Afridi reject huge contract,Respect !

  • on December 26, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Off colour??? How come??? What does off colour mean???? He was the one who checked the score and above all he had his presence felt being the Afridi which the teams especially SL fear the most!!! Do statistics show that elegance of his strokes, his domineering personality, his pressure on the opponents and above all Afridism???? Surely NOT!!!

    Anyway, may God bless his daughter with sound health again!!! Afridi Bhai! Nothing can happen to your daughter (our bhateeji) as all fans around the world are devotedly praying for the good health of your daughter,you and the whole family!!! See you in full action in the upcoming Asia Cup and WC T20!!! Till then take care and Bye!!!

  • on December 26, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Get Well Soon little princess

  • on December 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    all the best wishes with u Lala.

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Ilove afridi alot he is a great hitter player may Allah bless him his daughter amen

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Allah uski beti ko jald se jald shifa ata farmaye,aameen

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Real poor analysis by the author. its not the no. of wickets that one should consider. its the time and the magnitude of the wicket. Afridi has taken vital wickets throughout the innings and has broken partnerships. wickets of the like of sangakara, dilshan, mathews etc..

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    may allah bless his doughter

  • wishers1666 on December 26, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    He is a world class cricketer.may Allah recover his daughter, ameen

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    May Allah bless his daughter with good health.

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    @Vajira .. to test the father :)

  • VKohlitheGreat on December 26, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Wishing her speedy recovery..

  • on December 26, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    May Allah give her shifa as soon as possible.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    The philosophy in health and diseases is simply that Allah tests people whether they still worship him alone or go to any idol statue or any picture or any scetch etc.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    worked out. Pakistan will get to test it's bench

  • Afridian on December 26, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    What off color with the ball...? Poor analysis...!

    Afridi vs SL this series:

    1st T/20 - 1/20 & 39(20) + 1 catch [Man of the Match] 2nd T/20 - 0/25 & 28(13) 1st ODI - 34(12) & 2/30 2nd ODI - 22(30) & 2/46 3rd ODI - 2(4) & 1/41 + 1 catch 4th ODI - 0/37 & DNB

    Mere 30 Avg does not justify a giant's presence on the field. Don't expect Afridi to be the shining star in every match. It could be someone else's series, for instance M Hafeez, sometimes. Afridi has done a fine job with the bat as well as the ball in almost all the matches, breaking partnerships by grabbing 5 vital wickets of Sangakara, Thirimanne in the first OD, the lone man challenging Mathews & Kulasekara in the second ODI till the very last over & got Dilshan on 59 when other bowlers fell clueless. Numbers can fool but memory helps judging things better. Even if we don't consider him to be human and that his daughter was ill, yes his bowling was a little off colour yesterday only. Analysis like yours simply spoil the fun!

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    You showed the true spirit of a father GOD is there do t worry

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    May Allah give her daughter health and long life

  • humi_cric on December 26, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Love you Lala, pray to Almighty Allah for his daughter speedy recovery, salute you to refuse huge contract amount because of family, practically, not an easy thing.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    May your daughter be well soon! My wishes are with you and your family.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    He is star of world cricket.may Allah recover his daughter.He is very hardhitting player.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    I pray her health recover soon..

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    May Allah bless his daughter with health and life. Well played in SL .. take your time

  • on December 26, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    May Allah grant speedy recovery to lala's daughter.

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  • on December 26, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    May Allah grant speedy recovery to lala's daughter.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    May Allah bless his daughter with health and life. Well played in SL .. take your time

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    I pray her health recover soon..

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    He is star of world cricket.may Allah recover his daughter.He is very hardhitting player.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    May your daughter be well soon! My wishes are with you and your family.

  • humi_cric on December 26, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Love you Lala, pray to Almighty Allah for his daughter speedy recovery, salute you to refuse huge contract amount because of family, practically, not an easy thing.

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    May Allah give her daughter health and long life

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    You showed the true spirit of a father GOD is there do t worry

  • Afridian on December 26, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    What off color with the ball...? Poor analysis...!

    Afridi vs SL this series:

    1st T/20 - 1/20 & 39(20) + 1 catch [Man of the Match] 2nd T/20 - 0/25 & 28(13) 1st ODI - 34(12) & 2/30 2nd ODI - 22(30) & 2/46 3rd ODI - 2(4) & 1/41 + 1 catch 4th ODI - 0/37 & DNB

    Mere 30 Avg does not justify a giant's presence on the field. Don't expect Afridi to be the shining star in every match. It could be someone else's series, for instance M Hafeez, sometimes. Afridi has done a fine job with the bat as well as the ball in almost all the matches, breaking partnerships by grabbing 5 vital wickets of Sangakara, Thirimanne in the first OD, the lone man challenging Mathews & Kulasekara in the second ODI till the very last over & got Dilshan on 59 when other bowlers fell clueless. Numbers can fool but memory helps judging things better. Even if we don't consider him to be human and that his daughter was ill, yes his bowling was a little off colour yesterday only. Analysis like yours simply spoil the fun!

  • on December 26, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    worked out. Pakistan will get to test it's bench