Afridi Hints at Yet Another Test Comeback

By Omar Khalid

Karachi, Sep 24 (IANS) Pakistan's experienced allrounder Shahid Afridi has hinted at making yet another Test return after ending his previous comeback in a hurry in July.

Afridi, Pakistan's One-day captain, came out of a four-year Test exile to lead Pakistan against Australia at Lord’s two months back but decided to retire from the longest format after losing that match by a heavy margin.

However, Afridi told reporters here in the wee hours Friday that he can consider coming back for the Tests if 'needed' by his team.

"I will think about it and if the team needs it, I may consider playing the Test series against South Africa," Afridi said.

Pakistan will play a two-Test series and several One-day Internationals against South Africa in the UAE during October-November this year.

Afridi, who returned home with the national team after concluding a highly controversial tour of England, admitted that it was a really tough assignment.

"It was tough because of the controversies and became very difficult to cope with. Every time we went out of the hotel, people passed remarks against us," he said. "The best part of the whole tour was that the players showed unity even in difficult times and gave a good fight in the One-day series against England."

Pakistan lost the Test series 1-3 and were blanked 0-2 in the two Twenty20 Internationals by England. The tourists bounced back from two games down to level the One-day series 2-2 but lost in the series decider in the Rose Bowl Sep 22.

But Pakistan suffered more embarrassment off the field when three of its players were suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after being accused of taking bribes from match-fixers to bowl deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test at the Oval late last month.

Pakistan's Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were also questioned by Scotland Yard detectives. Wahab Riaz, who made his Test debut during the tour, was also interviewed by the police later.



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