Pakistan to consider Afridi for England Tests

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Shahid Afridi will remain in contention for the Test team as the selectors are yet to receive any official word on his temporary retirement from the longer version of the game, while Shoaib Akhtar might also find himself among the 25 probables for Pakistan's tour of England to be announced next month.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Selector Wasim Bari said Afridi's Test retirement was a major cause of concern for the Board and said the dashing all-rounder would be asked to reconsider his ''emotional decision''.

''Afridi can easily play in both forms of the game,'' he told the APP.

''We will be considering him both for Test matches and One-day Internationals because we have received no official instructions from top PCB officials,'' he added.

''Taking all aspects in consideration we will select a balanced combination.'' Meanwhile, quoting a top PCB official The News reported that the Board was confident of Shoaib Akhtar's availability for the tour as his medical reports have suggested good progress.

''The physiotherapist and trainer have given us a good report on his rehabilitation process and we are hopeful he would be available for the England tour,'' the daily quoted the PCB official as saying.

Shoaib underwent knee surgery in Melbourne after being diagnosed with a career threatening degenerative disease and has been following a rehabilitation program after that.

''He was advised six to eight weeks rest and he has made good progress. He is a valuable player for the team and his presence in England would be very important for us,'' the official said.

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