Afridi hopeful of tri-series win and recall

Published: Thursday, December 18, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Discarded all-rounder Shahid Afridi said he was confident Pakistan 'A' team will win a tri-nation series in India starting next week, raising his chances of a recall to the national team.

"Playing in India would be a great challenge but we are up to it and I am confident that my side will win the series," Afridi said on Thursday.

A 14-member Pakistan 'A' team with Afridi as captain leaves for India on Friday to face hosts India and Sri Lanka in a three-nation series in Calcutta from December 22-29.

The 23-year-old Afridi was dumped after a poor run in Pakistans dismal first round exit from this years World Cup.

He was then banned from a four-nation event in Sharjah in April after he was charged with abusing India's Virendar Sehwag in the World Cup match.

Afridi was not considered for the national team and instead played provincial cricket in South Africa.

"This would be a ladder for me to regain my place in the national team as I am anxiously waiting to play against India on home grounds," said Afridi.

The 'A' series is the last of three junior level events agreed upon by arch rivals Pakistan and India during the Asian Cricket Coucil meeting in London in June this year as the first step towards reviving stalled cricket ties.

The Indian Government cleared its team's tour to Pakistan two months ago after bilateral ties were snapped over political tension three years ago.

India is expected to tour between February-April next year for their first visit to Pakistan since 1989-1990 but the itinerary is still to be finalised.

Squad: Shahid Afridi (captain), Imran Nazir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Bilal Asad, Abdul Rauf, Khalil Ahmed, Mansoor Amjad, Junaid Zia, Saeed Bin Nisar, Mohammad Irshad, Aminur Rehman. Naved Anjum (coach), Azhar Zaidi (manager)

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