Afridi not a sure pick for In­dia tour: PCB

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

LAHORE

While Pak­istan will look to se­lect as many ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers as pos­si­ble for their lim­ited-overs tour of In­dia in De­cem­ber, Shahid Afridi will not be a sure pick, ac­cord­ing to chief se­lec­tor Iqbal Qasim.

"In­dia tours have al­ways been tough ones," Qasim said in Lahore. "We are wary about In­dia be­ing a very strong host and we want to pick a com­bi­na­tion very care­fully. Ex­pect no sweep­ing changes. We need to strengthen the com­bi­na­tion with ex­pe­ri­ence but there is al­ways room for an out­stand­ing young tal­ent.

"No­body, not even Afridi, gets an au­to­matic place in the side at the mo­ment. Afridi is a fine player and has per­formed well in past, but the up­com­ing [do­mes­tic] Twenty20 cup is the op­por­tu­nity for him to per­form and we will watch him. I am op­ti­mistic about him, as he has done a lot in past and still has a lot of cricket left in him."

Pak­istan's se­lec­tors will pick the squad for what is their first bi­lat­eral se­ries with In­dia since they toured In­dia in late 2007 af­ter the con­clu­sion of their do­mes­tic T20, which ends on De­cem­ber 10. Pak­istan had dropped se­niors You­nis Khan and Umar Gul from the one-day squad for the three- match se­ries against Aus­tralia in the UAE in Au­gust-Septem­ber; the se­lec­tors plan to back ex­pe­ri­ence could see them re­turn. It ap­pears Im­ran Nazir, Mo­ham­mad Sami and Ab­dul Razzaq's places will also be de­bated by Qasim's panel.

Qasim also hinted that Mo­ham­mad Yousuf, the vet­eran bats­man of 90 Tests who hasn't played any cricket in over a year due to per­sonal rea­sons, could be in con­tention for Pak­istan's tour of South Africa early next year. "We ob­vi­ously need ex­pe­ri­enced bats­men for the dif­fi­cult South Africa tour, and we in­tend to use Yousuf's ser­vices if he steps up and shows us he's in form." Pak­istan play three Tests, fol­lowed by two T20s and five ODIs in South Africa in Fe­bru­ary and March. Yousuf had said ear­lier this year that he is keen to make a come­back to the na­tional team and was asked by the se­lec­tors to play do­mes­tic cricket first.

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