Pakistan news November 17, 2012

Afridi not a sure pick for India tour - Pakistan chief selector


While Pakistan will look to select as many experienced players as possible for their limited-overs tour of India in December, Shahid Afridi will not be a sure pick, according to chief selector Iqbal Qasim.

"India tours have always been tough ones," Qasim said in Lahore. "We are wary about India being a very strong host and we want to pick a combination very carefully. Expect no sweeping changes. We need to strengthen the combination with experience but there is always room for an outstanding young talent.

"Nobody, not even Afridi, gets an automatic place in the side at the moment. Afridi is a fine player and has performed well in past, but the upcoming [domestic] Twenty20 cup is the opportunity for him to perform and we will watch him. I am optimistic about him, as he has done a lot in past and still has a lot of cricket left in him."

Pakistan's selectors will pick the squad for what is their first bilateral series with India since they toured India in late 2007 after the conclusion of their domestic T20, which ends on December 10. Pakistan had dropped seniors Younis Khan and Umar Gul from the one-day squad for the three-match series against Australia in the UAE in August-September; the selectors plan to back experience could see them return. It appears Imran Nazir, Mohammad Sami and Abdul Razzaq's places will also be debated by Qasim's panel.

Qasim also hinted that Mohammad Yousuf, the veteran batsman of 90 Tests who hasn't played any cricket in over a year due to personal reasons, could be in contention for Pakistan's tour of South Africa early next year. "We obviously need experienced batsmen for the difficult South Africa tour, and we intend to use Yousuf's services if he steps up and shows us he's in form." Pakistan play three Tests, followed by two T20s and five ODIs in South Africa in February and March.

Yousuf had said earlier this year that he is keen to make a comeback to the national team and was asked by the selectors to play domestic cricket first. He hadn't played any domestic tournaments since June 2011, but has been included in Lahore's team for the national T20, and had applied - though is yet to be cleared by the PCB - to play for Port Qasim Authority in the ongoing first-class President's Trophy.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shams on November 19, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    If you don't pick Afridi then who is going to be in the team. Weird. He is the only one who can win 'Single Handily' matches. Just take the last 20 matches for Pakistan and tell me who won the most 'Man of the Match' awards. If he performs in every 10th match -- that's fine. Others 10 players should also do the same, he is not going to win every match for you. How many matches have Misbah, Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Kamran, Saeed Ajmal or any other won for Pakistan in the last couple of years?

  • Taimur on November 19, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    good to hear 2 good things... AFridi not an automatic pick and PCB considering Mohammad Yousuf for SA test series... I strongly believe PCB selectors should consider Yousuf and Younis for India one day as well........ the equation these days is Afridi plays Pak loses but if he sits Paksitan Wins... lets get guys on merit... so much talent is being destroyed for selectors not being on merit...

  • Shipu on November 19, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    Afridi is an ordinary player and needs to give way to youngsters otherwise at this rate he'll continue till he's 50 :)

  • Masood on November 19, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Give him some break to make his form better for South Africa Tour.

  • pradipto on November 19, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    Absolutely right, PAK may have Afridi in the squad but bat him at No. 11 just as Chris Martin has done throughout his career, he is certainly no better than guys like McGrath, Walsh and so on, temperamentally may be even worse.

  • mohammad on November 19, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    I am very disappointed to see few people saying, Afridi should/must be in the team. For them my comment is " old glory can not stop the natural decay." Afridi is long past his best. Players like Afridi, Malik, Kamran are liabilities to the team and ruining the career of future prospects. PCB should come to senses and select new players. Just take a lesson from recent T20 WC.

  • basim on November 18, 2012, 22:32 GMT

    i know afridi is out of form but on his day he can take apart any bowling attack. We should keep him in the team maybe later we can see if he deseveres his place

  • Imran on November 18, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Well nobody should be taking his place for granted. there are plenty of black sheeps in squad. few to mention are Shoaib malik, Sohail tanvir and how on earth yasir arfat is better than even Razzaq??? how faisal iqbal gets in test squad ahead of umar kamal and young guys like Haris Sohail? Pakistans problem is fast bowling and team selection. Pakistans batting isnt that bad especially in test. Afridi should be allowed in domestic long version to play and get his form back.

  • shahid on November 18, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    PAKISTANI CHIEF SELECTOR is a non performer exactly as his choices of non performing and useless Mohammad Sami, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanveer and Yaser Arfat. And now he speaks about Yousef to play against SA? Why not recall Inzimam and Zaheer Abbas too. Talented young players like USMAN SALLAHUDIN and HARIS SOHAIL should be given their due chance and new bowlers Zia-ul-Haq, Ihsan Adil and Mohammad Talha need to take over the old guard.

  • A on November 18, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    Unfortunately Afridi batting has deserted him. It seems all the bowlers aroud the world have figured him out. He should not be in team just because of the past performances. I know he is popular but he is not scoring. Only soultion is to play him as a specialist bowler and drop him low down the order. But in that case may be Pak needs to play young spinner to groom for the future!! Drop Afridi along with Shoaib, Kamran, and others who seem to be in team because of the past performances!!!

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