Afridi ready to play again
Islamabad - All-rounder Shahid Afridi on Tuesday reversed his decision to retire
from international cricket, saying he wanted to play for Pakistan since
the chairman of the cricket board has been replaced.
President Asif Ali Zardari last week appointed banker Zaka Ashraf
chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to replace Ijaz Butt, who
had developed serious differences with Afridi in May.
board chairman has changed, I take back my retirement decision and am
available to play for Pakistan," Afridi told reporters. "I had said I
will never play with Butt as chairman, so things have changed now."
31-year-old all-rounder announced his retirement from international
cricket after being dumped as one-day captain following a row over
selection with team coach Waqar Younis while on tour in the West Indies
Afridi had also wanted Waqar and manager Intikhab Alam replaced.
quit last month citing health problems and Alam has been made director
in the PCB, changes which paved the way for Afridi's return.
he retired, the PCB suspended his central contract and revoked
permission for him to play abroad. Afridi then went to court, but the
dispute was resolved after a private meeting with Butt.
Afridi appeared before a PCB disciplinary committee and was fined $53 000 but his permission to play abroad was reinstated.
Afridi, who starred with the ball for Hampshire in the Twenty20 earlier this year, said he was in peak physical condition.
have been playing regular cricket and want to play the one-day series
against Sri Lanka as I am in good shape and have been working hard on my
batting and bowling," said Afridi.
Pakistan is playing Sri Lanka
in the first of three Tests, which began in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. They
will also play five one-days and a Twenty20 during the series, relocated
to the United Arab Emirates over security fears.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq last month said he was ready to welcome Afridi back to the team.
he has to make a decision over his retirement, then the matter will go
to the PCB and only after that I can decide. He has been playing well
and has enough cricket left in him," he said.