Zaka Ashraf: Afridi deserves to be in the ODI team

Eyebrows raised on the instant selection of Shahid Afridi

Eyebrows raised on the instant selection of Shahid Afridi

Newly appointed Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf has dispelled the impression that he is promoting ‘player-power’ and has defended the inclusion of all-rounder Shahid Afridi in the Pakistan one-day squad which will be playing the five-match series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates.

“The national selection committee considered Afridi for selection and since the all-rounder is a seasoned cricketer and deserves a place in the team, the selectors picked him for the Sri Lanka series,” said Zaka while talking to reporters.

The inclusion of Afridi in the national team while he was not asked to prove form or fitness despite his long lay-off, has raised quite a few eyebrows and has stunned critics who have attributed the decision of the all-rounder’s ‘abrupt’ selection to player-power.

Afridi had announced his retirement in May this year after developing serious differences with former head coach Waqar Younis and PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.

However, after the change of guard at the PCB, Afridi met the new chairman on Nov 2 and literally walked into the team the same evening without having gone through any form or fitness test.

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