Boom Boom Shahid Afridi back in Pakistan ODI squad
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Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi made a comeback to Pakistan's One-day squad as selectors included him in side for the upcoming series against South Africa.
Afridi, 34, was dropped for the one-day series in India last December but given a chance in the T20 matches. He has also been retained in the T20 squad.
However chief selector Iqbal Qasim minced no words in saying that this was probably the final opportunity for the seasoned Afridi to prove his worth in the national team.
Qasim, a former Test spinner, said that Afridi, who has appeared in 349 one-day internationals and over 50 T20 matches was a proven performer, but every player had to justify his place with consistent form.
"Afridi has struggled in recent months but we have confidence in him. We hope after playing against Afghanistan for the Pakistan A side he has regained confidence," the chief selector said.
The national selectors deciding to go for experience in the T20 and ODI selection as they picked left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz, former captain Shoaib Malik, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, his brother Umar Akmal who alongwith Afridi are also in both the squads.
The selectors also decided against sidelining the experienced Umar Gul despite his worrisome form in the ongoing Test series with South Africa.
"Gul has not done badly in South Africa and we need some experience in our pace attack against the world¿s best side," Qasim said. Qasim said the selectors have picked a balanced side as after the Test series defeat against South Africa, everyone is looking towards the T20s and ODIs for the team to do well.
Azhar Ali, Faisal Iqbal, wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed and pacers Tanvir Ahmed, Rahat Ali and Ehsan Adil, who went for the Test series in South Africa have not been considered for the limited over games while senior batsman Younis Khan is only retained for the ODI series.