IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Afridi asks for youth in Asia Cup


Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, has asked for the infusion of youth for the Asia Cup starting in Sri Lanka on June 15.

“We should have three to four new players along with the seniors so that we can strike the right balance in the one-day side. I think the time is right to start grooming and giving exposure to some of our young lot because we also have to keep the 2011 World Cup in mind,” Afridi said.

Afridi was reacting to a query over the omission of 19-year old allrounder Hammad Azam from the 35-member long list of probables for the Asia Cup and the tour of England. He said that neither he nor team coach Waqar Younis had a say in the selection of the probables.

“The selectors had picked that squad but as a matter of policy myself and the coach want to give exposure to young players so that they can provide stable support and back up to the seniors in future,” he said.

Afridi refused to comment on the controversial inclusion of Shoaib Malik in the list, following the reversal of his ban after being accused of causing unrest within the side. “It is something that concerns the board. As far as I am concerned whoever is eligible for selection is an important player for me,” Afridi said.

Yawar Saeed, the manager of the squad, was confident that the team would not face any problems over Malik’s return. Saeed was not with the team during the tours of Australia and New Zealand, after which Malik came in for harsh criticism from Afridi, former captain Mohammad Yousuf, former coach Intikhab Alam and tour manager Abdul Raquib, for his attitude.

“All these players have played before when I was manager and I faced no problems at all from them. They know each other well so I don’t think it is a big thing if Malik or even Younis Khan is selected in the side,” said Saeed, who was a member of the PCB inquiry committee over the side’s performance in Australia.

“There is no personality clash involved anymore and the New Zealand and Australian tours are past. The code of conduct on tour is the same for any player. I am confident no player will give me or PCB any cause for complain.”

Source:Cricket News

Image Source:Cricinfo

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