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Misbah wanted Afridi in squad

Karachi: The naming of Pakistan’s T20 and ODI squads for this month’s tour to India was not without disagreements as the selectors overruled captain Misbah-ul Haq while axing experienced all-rounder Shahid Afridi for the ODI series.

The selectors also came under pressure to select opener Imran Nazir and some other players, but stuck to their guns to give a chance to the outstanding performers in the ongoing domestic season.

“Misbah, who captains the one-day squad, wanted Afridi in the squad at the cost of Umar Akmal, but the selectors rejected his suggestion,” one source said.

“Misbah’s argument was that Afridi remains a match-winning player despite being out of form and his experience would count for a lot in India… And secondly, his presence would put pressure on the Indian side, given his past performances,” the source said.

But the source said the selectors insisted on keeping Afridi out of the one-day squad saying they wanted to rebuild the one-day team keeping in mind the next World Cup. Misbah’s argument was also that since they had retained Afridi in the T20 squad, he should also be there in the ODI squad.

In the selection of the T20 squad, there was plenty of pressure to retain opener Imran Nazir who struggled for form in the World T20 a few months back. “The selectors insisted that they wanted to give a chance to Ahmed Shahzad,” the source said.