Shahid Afridi is ready for West Indies tour | Afridi is ready for West Indies tour
Shahid Afridi is ready for West Indies tour: Pakistan’s limited-overs’ captain Shahid Afridi has made himself available for the upcoming tour of West Indies that begins on April 18. Afridi had indicated he wanted to be rested for the tour, following a hectic schedule for the Pakistan side culminating in their semi-final exit at the World Cup, but has changed his mind.
“I had decided to skip the tour because I wanted to take a break from the game, but some former players and my family and friends told me to change my decision at this crucial time for Pakistan cricket,” Afridi told Reuters. “One of the main reasons I wanted to take a break was because I wanted to be with my father who is not keeping well. But my father insisted that I carry on with the Pakistan team.”
Pakistan had a draining run-up to the World Cup, starting with the World Twenty20 in April 2010 followed by the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, and a tour of England, which included full series against Australia and the home side. Next was another full-fledged bilateral series in the UAE against South Africa, and a long tour of New Zealand, before the team returned to the subcontinent for the World Cup. In addition to their gruelling on-field commitments, the Pakistan team also hurtled from one off-field controversy to another, including the spot-fixing scandal and Zulqarnain Haider’s mysterious exit from the team hotel in UAE. They weren’t expected to be a force in the World Cup, but ended up topping Group A before bowing out in the semi-finals against eventual champions India.
Afridi led his side from the front, taking 21 wickets to finish as the join top wicket-taker along with India’s Zaheer Khan. Afridi believed the West Indies tour would help continue his side’s renaissance following the turbulent times in 2010. “There are indications that Pakistan cricket is on the right track and on the coming tours to West Indies and Zimbabwe we can form an ideal one-day combination,” he said. “That is why I want to be part of the team on the coming tour and carry on the momentum we got from the World Cup.”
The West Indies tour includes a Twenty20, five one-dayers and two Tests, and begins on April 18, which allows the players less than three weeks of rest after their World Cup campaign.
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