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Legendary Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi said so much was invested in young pace sensation Naseem Shah, but he has now been replaced by unknown players.
Afridi’s comments come after Naseem was not picked for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The 18-year-old has only featured in Tests for Pakistan and has taken 20 wickets in nine matches at an average of 42.45.
It should be noted that Naseem is the youngest player to take a hat-trick in Test cricket and the second-youngest to claim a five-wicket haul.
While Pakistan previously persisted with him, he hasn’t been picked since the team’s tour of New Zealand, where he finished with four wickets in two Tests at an average of 73.
Afridi admitted that he doesn’t understand “the criteria behind selection” and why Naseem has been omitted in favour of “unknown bowlers”.
“I have said this before and I say it again that I don’t understand the criteria behind selection for the Pakistan side as boys who have just done [one] or two good performances [are selected],” Afridi was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
“So much investment has been done on Naseem Shah and other bowlers who are nowhere to be seen as they have been replaced by unknown bowlers.
“Persist with bowlers on whom you have made so much investment, instead you bring in some bowler who [has] just performed in 1-2 games and then later he is discarded and not to be seen again.”
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan will depart for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.
The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17, but the dates for the matches have yet to be confirmed.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) noted that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Bulawayo on May 12.
Pakistan’s Test Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.
Pakistan’s ODI Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.