Shahid Afridi to feature in Pak-Afghan cricket matches
By Sajad - Wed Jan 30 2013, 12:41 pm
Shahid Afridi Pakistan’s senior all-rounded is due to feature in the upcoming one-day and Twenty20 fixtures against Afghanistan during their four-week long training tour of Pakistan in a bid to regain his winning form, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced.
According to PCB officials, Afridi – who was a part of Pakistan’s Twenty20 squad against India last month – was included in the Pakistan A team, which is scheduled to play eight one-day and four Twenty20 matches next month.
While the tourists are preparing for their international assignments including the World Cup qualifiers, the PCB selectors felt the upcoming matches could be utilised by giving a chance to its national cricketers who have been out of high-profile action for a while, The Express Tribune reported.
PCB selector quoted by The Express Tribune said, “The purpose of including Afridi in the team is to provide him match practice. We have also included other national cricketers like Wahab Riaz in the squad.”
However, the selector made it clear that the performance of players in the upcoming matches against Afghanistan would not necessarily lead to their selection for the forthcoming One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 series against South Africa.
Afghanistan cricket team led by Nawroz Mangal and coached by kabir Khan has already reached Lahore for a four week stay. During their visit, the Affhan team will play eight ODIs and four T20 matches against Pakistan A and other sides.
No test playing nation has toured Pakistan since 2009, when gunmen attacked Sri Lanka’s team bus convoy at Lahore, killing six police officials and a van driver.
Apart from Afghanistan’s three key players — fast bowler Shahpoor Zadran, former captain Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shinwari — Khan said the top 22 Afghan players had all come to Pakistan.
Afghanistan have ODI status till 2015 and have been using Sharjah Cricket Stadium as their home ground since 2010 due to a lack of cricketing infrastructure in the country. They are now looking to shift base to Pakistan.