Afridi sees role for Akhtar in ODI, Twenty20 Internationals
Lahore: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi on Tuesday said that he saw a role for maverick fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the ODI and Twenty20 Internationals.
Afridi told reporters here that Akhtar had assured him he only wanted to focus on his cricket after a long lay-off from international cricket.
“We definitely see a role for Shoaib in ODIs and T20 cricket and we want to give him a chance in these formats of the game,” Afridi said.
Afridi, appointed captain for the Asia Cup and full tour to England, however, did not make any mention of whether Akhtar would be considered for the six Tests in England.
Akhtar, 34, has not played for Pakistan since May last year due to disciplinary and fitness problems. He also underwent a knee surgery in England last year.
But he has made a good impact in domestic cricket in recent months and had also sought help form a spiritual bone healer for a nagging knee problem.
He has been named in a shortlist of 35 players but his final selection will be subject to his clearing a fitness test on Wednesday.
Afridi said the players should now forget the recent controversies in Pakistan cricket and focus on the coming assignments.
“Whatever has been said in the recent past is now history and we now need to put everything behind us and play like a unit,” he added.
The Pakistan cricket Board banned or fined seven players for misconduct and indiscipline in March after a probe into the team’s poor show in Australia and into reports of infighting among the players.
Among the banned was former captain Shoaib Malik who has also been named in the shortlist of 35 players.
Afridi said he had no issues with Malik and wanted to see the team selected on merit.
Afridi said it was tough for him to be leading the side knowing there were no immediate chances of him getting a chance to captain the team at home.
“But for the time being we have to manage with our international cricket abroad and do our best to give good performances,” Afridi said.