Shahid Afridi raises voice for three ignored players for Sri Lanka tour

Afridi expressed his concern over the absence of the three players, stating that these players have been overlooked despite their talent

Shahid Afridi raises voice for three ignored players for Sri Lanka tour PHOTO: PCB

Former Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi, has spoken out about the exclusion of three players from the upcoming Sri Lanka tour scheduled in July. 

Afridi expressed concern over the absence of Abid Ali, Zahid Mahmood, and Usman Salahuddin, stating that these players have been overlooked despite their talent and contributions in the domestic circuit.

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"We developed a Test player; he fell ill, received treatment, and recovered. I'm talking about Abid Ali; where is that guy? I don't understand, and besides him, you have kept two left-arm spinners in the team. There was a leg-spinner named Zahid Mehmood; where is he?” Afridi questioned.

“The rest of the squad is fine, but our players get out of the team for a while due to injuries, and then they struggle to find a place again in the squad. In my opinion, Usman Salahuddin has played for Pakistan previously and had some great performances. Where is he? I mean, you give chances to completely new players, you don't give chances to the players you have invested in; they don't seem to be noticed," he further added.

The 35-year-old Abid has played 16 Test matches and scored 1180 runs, including three fifties and four centuries, with an average of 49.16. His most recent Test match was against Bangladesh in 2021. 

Although Usman Salahuddin has played only one Test match, his record in First-Class cricket is quite remarkable. The right-handed batsman has featured in 139 FC matches and amassed 9254 runs, including 53 half-centuries and 28 centuries, at an average of 48.96. His highest score is an unbeaten 219 runs.

Recently, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the national team squad for the aforementioned series against the Lankan team.

The men's national selection committee also included uncapped batter Mohammad Huraira and all-rounder Aamir Jamal in the 16-strong squad for what will be Pakistan's first assignment in the third cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.

The first Test will commence at the Galle International Cricket Stadium on 16 July and the two teams will then travel to Colombo for the second Test at the Singhalese Sports Club from 24 till 28 July.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi and Shan Masood

Itinerary of Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka:

  • 9 July – Pakistan land in Colombo
  • 11 and 12 July – Warm-up game
  • 16-20 July – First Test at Galle International Cricket Stadium
  • 24-28 July – Second Test at Singhalese Sports Club, Colombo