Thu, May 26, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Shahid Afridi pulls out of Ireland one-day contests


Shahid Afridi, dumped as Pakistan’s one-day captain, has withdrawn altogether from two one-day internationals against Ireland for personal reasons, an official said on Tuesday.

The popular 31-year-old all-rounder was last week replaced by Misbah-ul-Haq despite leading Pakistan to the semi-final of the World Cup and a 3-2 one-day series win over the West Indies.

It was seen as apparent punishment by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for Afridi’s public criticism of coach Waqar Younis for interfering in team selection on the West Indies tour.

“Afridi has informed us that his father has been admitted to hospital for liver treatment and he wants to be with him and would not be available for the two matches in Ireland,” PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar told reporters.

No replacement will be sent for Afridi, Sarwar said.

Pakistan, who leveled a two-match Test series in the West Indies on Monday, reached Ireland yesterday where they are to play on Saturday and Monday.

Afridi took over as national captain last year, but after a heavy defeat against Australia in neutral venue England, he resigned from the Test captaincy.

He continued as one-day captain, but developed differences with Waqar during the World Cup, where Pakistan lost in the semi-final to India who eventually won the title last month.

“Everyone should do his job and should be accountable for his duties,” Afridi said, criticizing the coach, on his return from the West Indies after the one-day series.

However, when asked about his differences with Waqar, Shahid replied: “They are not at a stage where they cannot be resolved.”

The PCB took strong note of the public criticism and admonished Afridi for violating the players’ code of conduct for airing team affairs in the media.

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