Afridi wants to take a break from Tests

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Flamboyant batsman Shahid Afridi has told Pakistani selectors not to consider him for Test matches until next year's World Cup.

Updated: October 26, 2009 11:45 IST
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Flamboyant batsman Shahid Afridi has told Pakistani selectors not to consider him for Test matches until next year's World Cup saying that he wants to concentrate on the one-day and Twenty20 formats.

"There is a lot of international cricket being played these days and I think it is better if I focus on these two forms of the game in the period leading up to the World Cup," Afridi said.

Afridi, who last played a Test in July, 2006 in England, said the next two years were very important for Pakistan cricket with the T20 and 50-over World Cups lined up.

"I would love to see our team winning both competitions and I feel we have the potential to do this," the spin all-rounder told the 'Jung' newspaper.

Afridi said not playing Test matches would help him stay fresh for the T20 and ODI matches. He has played 285 ODIs compared to just 26 Tests in his career which began in 1997.

The national selectors have already omitted him from the Test squad announced for the upcoming tour of New Zealand and named him captain of the T20 side until the next T20 World Cup in the West Indies.

He also dismissed reports of differences with captain Younus Khan.

"Both of us go a long way and we respect each other. I have always supported him as player and captain and I will continue to do that in future as well," he said.

Younus managed just 53 runs in three innings in the Champions trophy in South Africa and has struggled for big scores in recent months.

Qasim also defended the dropping of senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq for the series against New Zealand.

"In Pakistan there is no culture of giving a senior player a rest when he is under undue pressure or struggling for form.

"The idea is to allow a player to go back to the basics, take a break and come back fresh. That was our idea behind not selecting Misbah for the coming series," Qasim said.

Misbah responded with a score of 284 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match in Lahore which Qasim described as a good omen.

"It is a good sign that Misbah has taken his omission as a challenge. If he keeps on scoring runs in domestic cricket he will come up for consideration for selection when the team for the tour to Australia is announced," he said.

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