The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that it had not received anything in writing from flamboyant allrounder Shahid Afridi informing them that he didnâ€™t want to be considered for the Test matches until the next World Cup in the West Indies in 2007.
â€œWe have got nothing in writing though we have read about his decision of not to play in Test matches till the World Cup, in the media. So we have passed on no instructions to the national selectors regarding his selection for Test matches,â€ a PCB source said.
The source hinted that Afridi could be considered in the Test squad for the England tour until the board gets some request from him in writing.
Afridi is contracted to the board as an employee as he gets a monthly salary in the top grade of the central contracts, which is awarded to 20 players. Even chief selector Wasim Bari confirmed that the board had not informed them, not to consider Afridi for the Tests in England.
Pakistan plays four Tests and five One-day Internationals in England on a tour that begins from the last week of June.
â€œWe will be considering him, both for Test matches and One-day Internationals because we have received no official instructions from the top PCB officialsâ€.
â€œAfridi can easily play in both forms of the game and taking all aspects in consideration, we will select a balanced combination,â€ Bari said.
Afridi announced, before the team left for Abu Dhabi last week to play in the two one-dayers against India, that he had decided to shun playing in Test matches until the World Cup.
He defended his decision by saying that he wanted to concentrate on giving his best for Pakistan in one-day cricket and said he was facing problems adjusting to both forms of the game because of the hectic international schedule. The PCB source also described Afridiâ€™s decision as an emotional one.
Sources said that during the Abu Dhabi games, the team management had discussions with Afridi on his sudden decision and coach Bob Woolmer asked him to take back his decision with the England tour coming up.
â€œGenerally, the cricket circles donâ€™t feel that Afridiâ€™s decision was a wise one as not many players get the opportunity to play for their country in both forms of the game so regularly,â€ a former Test player who is close to the allrounder, said.
Afridi was due to reach Karachi on Saturday night and is currently in the process of getting a visa to proceed to Ireland, to play for them, in the C&G Cup matches.
Source: The NewsMore on:C&G Cup, england, Pakistan, Pakistan in England 2006, PCB, Shahid Afridi, World Cup
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