Afridi pulls out of Ireland ODIs
Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has withdrawn from the squad for the two one-day internationals against Ireland later this month for personal reasons, according to a PCB official.
"Afridi has informed PCB that due to the illness of his father he had to stay longer in USA, so he would be unable to join the squad for Ireland." PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told ESPNcricinfo.
The pull-out comes after days of speculation about Afridi's unhappiness at the decision to remove him as captain, with some local reports even suggesting he would retire from the game altogether, though there is no indication yet that this is the case. Last week the board chose to replace Afridi as ODI captain with Misbah-ul-Haq, despite the former having led Pakistan to the semi-final of the World Cup.
Pakistan are expected to arrive in Ireland on Wednesday, with the two games scheduled for May 28 and 30. The board will not be sending a replacement for Afridi.
Afridi took over as ODI captain properly in June last year, before the Asia Cup, having been appointed the Twenty20 captain the previous year. He was never given the leadership on a full-time basis, but first irked the board by walking away from the Test captaincy on the tour to England, one Test after being appointed. Misbah, currently the Test captain, now becomes the fifth ODI captain under the near three-year tenure of Butt; there have also been six Test captains in that time.