Afridi pulls out of two-match ODI series against Ireland

Karachi: Pakistan`s flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi has pulled out of the two-match ODI series against Ireland due to the illness of his father.

According to Geo News report, Afridi had informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that he would not be available for the two matches in Ireland on May 28 and 30.

"Afridi wants to spend time with his ailing father who is under treatment in the United States. It has nothing to do with him being removed from the One-day team captaincy," a source claimed.

The Chairman of the PCB, Ijaz Butt removed Afridi as captain earlier this month and replaced him with Misbah-ul-Haq who is presently leading the team in the Test series against the West Indies.

Unofficially, the reason for removing Afridi as captain but retaining him in the One-day squad as a player was because Butt is unhappy with the allrounder`s habit of frequently addressing the media and discussing team issues.

The board had even issued a notice to Afridi for making statements on team matters after he returned home from the West Indies after leading the team to a 3-2 win over the West Indies in the five-match ODI series.

The source said Afridi, who is obviously disappointed with his sacking as captain, will now reach England late and might even miss a few matches for his county Hampshire in the T20 tournament in England.

The source also said that Butt was not very pleased with increasing complaints about the interference of head coach Waqar Younis in selection issues.

"Butt has expressed his displeasure over Waqar`s growing interference in meetings with senior board officials and indications are that when the team returns home he will be having a decisive talk with Waqar," the source added.

Afridi has complained that Waqar has interfered in his work and relations between the two had reached such a stage in the West Indies that Afridi wanted to skip the last two One-day matches.

Afridi was said to be unhappy with the team given to him but was convinced by manager Intikhab Alam to lead the team in the two games, which Pakistan lost.

The PCB, meanwhile, is also not happy with the fact that the management didn`t play young left-arm pacer Junaid Khan in even a single match of the World Cup and similarly also gave scant opportunities to youngsters in Sadaf Hussain and Usman Salahuddin in the One-day series against a weakened West Indies team.


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