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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pakistan Cricket Board confirms Afridi will not tour Ireland

  • Pakistan Cricket Board confirms Afridi will not tour Ireland
Pakistan Cricket Board confirms Afridi will not tour Ireland
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that the former limited-overs captain, Shahid Afridi, has pulled out of the Ireland tour due to his father’s illness.
"Shahid Afridi has informed us that he would not be able to play two ODIs against Ireland as he is with his ailing father in the United States. Doctors have advised him to remain with his father for the time being", said the PCB spokesman.
The spokesman said that the board can understand the situation, which the flamboyant all-rounder is going through, and hoped his father would get well soon.
"We can understand the situation and mental stress that Afridi must be facing now and we hope for the speedy recovery of his father", the spokesman added.
The 31-year old was earlier sacked from captaincy and Pakistan’s Test skipper, Misbah-ul-Haq, was given charge of leading the One Day side as well during the Ireland tour where the Men in Green are scheduled to play two One Day Internationals (ODIs) later this month.
Though no reason was given by the board for the abrupt and shocking decision, it was reported that PCB chief, Ijaz Butt, was not happy with Afridi over his media revelations.
Despite having a number of positives, Afridi frequently addressed the media and discussed team issues publically. And the practice finally cost him his captaincy role after he told the media that he was at loggerheads with head coach, Waqar Younis, on selection matters during the five-match ODI series against West Indies in West Indies.
The leg-spinner was not happy with the squad he was given for the final two games of the five-match series but the team manager, Intikhab Alam convinced him to play and discuss the matter with the PCB chairman, Ijaz Butt on his return home.
Afridi’s comments came soon after he returned home from Caribbean after winning the ODI series by 3-2. The former skipper had complained that his relations with the team coach had reached such a stage that he wanted to skip the last two One Day Internationals of the series.
The sacked skipper is yet to respond to the notice for violation of the code of conduct.
PCB Chief Butt has said that he would look into the matter after he receives the tour report from the team manager.
It has also been reported that the PCB chief is not happy with Waqar Younis as well and is mulling over having a decisive talk with him once the team returns home from West Indies.

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis feels his side deserves a series on Home grounds

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis feels his side deserves a series on Home grounds
Pakistan’s head coach, Waqar Younis, has insisted that his players deserve to play on home grounds after the team has been forced to play home events on neutral grounds since the 2009 terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team.
According to the former Pakistan pacer, it is extremely difficult for his squad to think of improving their ratings without the comfort of a home series.
The 39-year-old Waqar, speaking on the matter said, “It's tough. It's never easy. We're always touring and playing on different surfaces and we don't know the pitches and conditions. It's very difficult to adjust every month or so. It's four (overseas) venues I've done in less than a year.”
Waqar believes that in order to raise the confidence of the players, it is imperative that they play in home conditions.
“You need to play home to get the confidence of the youngsters. That's not happening so what we're trying to do is taking the youngsters on the tour and trying to prepare them, which is the hardest part in cricket,” he reiterated.
The Pakistan coach admitted that there is no denying the fact that Pakistan is currently not a safe place, due to which it is extremely difficult to convince foreign teams to play in the terror hit country.
The head coach expressed his satisfaction over the performance of his side, which won the five-match One-Day series and managed to draw the two-match Test series against the West Indies.
After losing the first Test, Pakistan bounced back by annihilating the hosts after posting a mammoth total of 426 runs on the board for the Windies to chase on the fourth and fifth day, however, Darren Sammy’s side fell 196 runs short of the total tally.
Waqar insisted that the win in Guyana showed that Pakistan can bat well and negated the rumours suggesting that there was a major flaw in the batting outfit of the Pakistan squad.
He praised opening batsmen Taufeeq Umar and captain Misbah-ul-Haq, for their ton in the second innings, that basically provided a launch pad for Pakistan to clinch the second Test.

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‘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.”

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.
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