The all-rounder may not get another chance with the international team as he nears retirement.
The Pakistan selectors’ decision to leave veteran all-rounder Shahid Afridi out of their one-day squad for the Champions Trophy could be a sign his career is effectively over.
Along with batsman Umar Akmal and fast bowler Sohail Tanvir, Afridi is the most high profile name omitted from the group that toured South Africa earlier in the year.
Pakistan’s narrow 3-2 loss to the Proteas, coupled with their 3-0 whitewash in the Tests, forced the national selectors to reshuffle the side; and the all-rounder is clearly one of the casualties.
At 33-years-old Afridi is heading towards the end of his international career and although he could feasibly play for several more years, Pakistan are showing their intentions that they want to progress forward with youth.
“Afridi had been selected as a bowling all-rounder but he was not up to the mark and couldn’t score at crucial occasions so we had to leave him out,” chief selector Iqbal Qasim said on ESPNcricinfo.
The all-rounder is a vastly experienced one-day player having featured 354 times in ODIs for Pakistan, scoring 7,201`runs and taking 348 wickets.
Yet Afridi loses his position to Shoaib Malik and Umar Amin in the 15-man squad after failing to show any decent form for over a year.
His poor showing has seen the Pakistani take just 15 wickets in 21 ODIs since the start of 2012 – with five coming against minnows Afghanistan – and averaging just 19 with the bat.
This snubbing ahead of the last ever Champions Trophy is a sign the selectors have finally lost patience with Afridi and he may struggle to get back in the 50-over side again.
Pakistan squad in full: Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal, Misbah ul Haq (capt), Shoaib Malik, Asad Shafiq, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Ali, Wahab Riaz, Umar Amin, Abdur Rehman, Ehsan Adil.