Afridi does a u-turn, agrees to tour West Indies

Updated: 04 April 2011 14:15 IST

Within days of asking for a break citing exhaustion, Pakistan ODI captain Shahid Afridi has had a change of heart and has decided to go to the West Indies for the one-day and Twenty20 series later this month.

Afridi does a u-turn, agrees to tour West Indies

Karachi:

Within days of asking for a break citing exhaustion, Pakistan ODI captain Shahid Afridi has had a change of heart and has decided to go to the West Indies for the one-day and Twenty20 series later this month.

The 31-year-old all-rounder had earlier decided to take a break from the coming tour.

"Yes, earlier I had decided to take a break from the West Indies tour because I wanted to have a rest from cricket," Afridi said.

"But my family members, my father, my friends and some former players have told me I must go to the West Indies so that there is continuity in the Pakistan team," he said.

"They have pressurised me a lot. So, I have decided it is best for me to go to the West Indies because we need to ensure the good work we did in the World Cup is carried on in our future series," Afridi said.

The flamboyant player, who has played 27 Tests and 320 one-day internationals, has retired from Test cricket but plays in the shorter version of the sport.

Afridi said the coming tour was ideal to blood some two or three new players and groom them. "But the final decision is with the selectors they will decide what to do but this is the right time for us to build on the momentum we got from the World Cup performance," he said.

Pakistan, under the captaincy of Afridi, reached the semifinal of the tournament against the odds but lost to eventual champions India at Mohali.

Despite the defeat the team was given a warm welcome when they returned home with Afridi taking the honours in the World Cup with 21 wickets.

"I have never seen such a welcome given to a team that had returned home after losing to India. It is something that has influenced me to work harder with this team as we have the nucleus and makings of a champion one-day team now," Afridi said.

Pakistan tours West Indies from April 16 to play five ODIs, a Twenty20 match and two Tests. In August, the team will go to Zimbabwe for a one-off Test and a one-day series. The Pakistan captain congratulated the Indian team for winning the World Cup.

"I had said before the start of the tournament that India were title favourites because they have a settled combination and had been preparing under the same captain and coach for a while now. I thought the Indians had a formidable batting line up and it clicked in the final," he said.

Topics : Cricket MS Dhoni Ravi Rampaul Shahid Afridi Gary Kirsten Bangladesh New Zealand Pakistan
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