ICL: Indian Cricket League

Afridi asked us not to select him for Kandy Test: Woolmer

Written by Kashif Aziz on April 20th, 2006   (400 views)

Pakistan cricket team’s coach Bob Woolmer has disclosed that all-rounder Shahid Afridi had asked him and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq not to select him for the second Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy earlier this month.

Afridi was not picked for the second Test won by Pakistan on the back of Mohammad Asif’s 11 wickets in the game. But he played in the first Test in Colombo and failed with the bat.

The 25-year-old flamboyant all-rounder, before going to Abu Dhabi, dropped a bombshell when he announced he would not be playing any Test matches until the 2007 World Cup in order to concentrate on one-day cricket.

Woolmer, who was in Dubai when Afridi announced his decision, said that he (Afridi) had made the decision to retire from Test cricket of his own accord. “Inzamam and I’ve always supported him and like him in the team. The truth is that he finds Test cricket tough, mentally! He did ask us to not select him for the Kandy Test match,” Woolmer said and made it clear that personally he felt Afridi had made a wrong decision.

Pakistan team sources said that Woolmer and Inzamam had already had a word with Afridi about his decision given that Pakistan has ten Test matches lined up against England, the West Indies and South Africa before the World Cup.

“Personally I believe that Afridi has made the wrong decision and I’ll be speaking to him about this. I think he is a fine cricketer but also think he has made this decision hastily,” he added.

Afridi said that he had taken his decision because he was not able to adjust to both forms of the game because of the amount of cricket being played these days and due to playing Tests his performances in one-day matches was being affected. “I want to concentrate on the World Cup for my team,” he had said.

But Woolmer pointed out that cricket boards were now keen to optimise their earnings.

“There is obviously a lot of money in cricket now and the boards of each country have a responsibility for the cricket in their country so they are keen to optimise their earning capacities. Unfortunately, the players will suffer, they too are in a catch-22 situation because if they rest they lose out on considerable match fees, they also face the problem that someone might come in take 5 wickets or score a 100 and they lose their place in the team,” Woolmer said.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Woolmer, Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka, Kandy, Colombo, Abu Dhabi, World Cup, Inzamam

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