Chief Selector Shahid Afridi unveils new plans for future team formation

Chief Selector Shahid Afridi unveils new plans for future team formation

LAHORE – Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Khan Afridi, who was appointed interim head of the selection committee for men’s team, dropped a hint on Sunday about the possibility of some senior players returning to the Pakistan cricket team.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Management Committee led by Najam Sethi on Saturday appointed Afridi interim head of the men’s national selection committee for the home series against New Zealand.

In his first decision in his new role a day before, Afridi added three players to the team – pacers Mir Hamza and Shahnawaz Dahani and off-spinner Sajid Khan.

At the media talk in Karachi upon assuming his new office, Afridi was asked if any changes will be made to the batting lineup or Sarfaraz Ahmed will be brought back, and he said: “Babar Azam said something a few days ago that the ‘workload should be shifted’ which is very good. There are many players who have been continuously playing all three formats and it sometimes becomes difficult.”

Afridi said the bench should be so strong that any player’s absence is not felt or does not impact the team’s performance. “We have such players who are seniors and have been relegated outside [the team] for many days,” he said.

About his decision to add three players, Afridi termed it a “very good decision” of the selection committee to induct two more fastbowlers, adding that he learnt that Naseem Shah was still not fully fit.

“That decision of ours was good. Our bowlers who we have been carrying [idly] for many years such as Dahani, when will we let him play and give him a chance and make him a bowler?

“And then there is Mir Hamza because we don’t have Shaheen Shah Afridi so we have a need for a fastbowler and I think that boy deserves it and has given good performances,” Afridi said.

He said the national selection committee would have a meeting soon with skipper Babar Azam about the final lineup of the team. “This selection committee has come here to make Azam as good a captain as good a world-class batter he is,” Afridi said.