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Thursday, May 26, 2011

‘Afridi did not pull out in protest’

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has pulled outof the two-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Ireland citing his father’s illness and flight problems as the two reasons behind his pull-out.
“I had to extend my visit due to my father’s illness,” he told The Express Tribune from Houston. “I’m facing problems in getting flights to Ireland as well. Now, it’s almost impossible to make it to Belfast before the start of the series.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided against naming a replacement for the two-match series that starts on May 28. Afridi was removed from ODI captaincy after the PCB questioned his comments in the media after his return from the limited-overs leg of the West Indies tour where he spoke of a possible rift with coachWaqar Younis.
Test captain Misbahul Haq replaced Afridi as skipper for the two-match ODI series.
‘Move not in protest’
Meanwhile, an official close to Afridi has played down suggestions that the all-rounder decided to skip the series in protest after being removed from captaincy.
“Afridi is obviously disappointed as he really wanted to play,” said the official. “Genuine problems forced his withdrawal and he isn’t making fake excuses. Also, he doesn’t have any plans to quit international cricket at the moment.”
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