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Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez backs Pakistan’s decision to rest star pacer Shaheen Afridi for last Test – World News Network

Date:

Sydney [Australia], January 6 (ANI): Pakistan’s team director Mohammad Hafeez has defended the choice to line up without leading fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi in the third Test, claiming that he had a responsibility of care to the Pakistan players that stretched beyond individual games and series.
Pakistan had their moments in the third and last Test, but Australia showed their class as they swept the series 3-0.
He also stated the ultimate decision was made by team management, not the player.
“He bowled really well in those two games and bowled the most of any bowler. When I asked him before the third Test, his body was sore. And I need to look after him more than anything,” Hafeez was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Afridi’s absence damaged an already weaker Pakistan bowling attack, which had started the series without the injured Naseem Shah, the unavailable Haris Rauf, and the unfit Abrar Ahmed.
“If someone thinks their body is sore and they can’t deliver the best, we need to look after the career of the individual. I will never make a decision where a player can lose his career for six months or a year. It was a tough call but we made that decision for the betterment of the players. Because we cannot make that decision at the cost of a player’s career,” Hafeez added.
The decision to bench Afridi sparked heated controversy, with claims that the PCB was prioritising T20 cricket above the lengthier format. Former Pakistan fast bowlers Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were particularly harsh in their criticism.
Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis criticised the decision to rest fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi in the third and final Test against Australia. Wasim claimed that decision “had nothing to do with the management” and was “solely [Shaheen’s] decision”. He warned players to decide “if you want to be a great of the game or do you want to be a millionaire” while prioritising formats.
“Straight after this there are five T20s in New Zealand, and Shaheen’s the captain. But T20 cricket, who cares? I understand, it is there for entertainment and it is there for financial gain for cricket boards, for players, but cricketers should know that Test cricket is the ultimate,” Wasim said on Fox Cricket as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
“If we talk about what happened 20 years ago in this Test in Sydney, nobody knows what happened last night in T20. That’s the difference. These guys have to understand and learn, if you want to be a great of the game or do you want to be a millionaire. You can become both but with a little more sense,” he concluded.
Waqar was also surprised with the decision, saying that Shaheen’s absence “made him laugh” and he expected him to play because he was looking great in the second Test with his swing and pace.
“That is a real shocker for me because I was expecting him to be a part of this Test match because he looked good in the previous match. He started feeling like the old Shaheen Afridi and started to swing the ball and the pace was getting better,” he said. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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