Pakistan's Shahid Afridi, on Monday, criticised the national selectors for resting six senior players, including skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, for the upcoming ODI series against Australia, saying a good outing would have boosted their confidence ahead of the World Cup.
In a surprising move, the selectors picked young speedster Mohammad Hasnain in the one-day squad although he has appeared in just two first-class games, played for the Pakistan juniors and did well in the ongoing Pakistan Super League.
"I don't know but we must first give chances to the established bowlers like Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz etc. First look and give proper chance to the established players because after all we are playing in the World Cup," Afridi said.
The all-rounder was also critical of the decision to rest Sarfaraz and other key players for the 'home' series, slated to be held in the UAE.
"Look if we had been playing against a weak side than it made sense to try new players but this is a series against a big team and I don't think it was right time to rest players after all it is not as if they have been playing for some 10 or 15 years."
"I would think that if our main players played against a team like Australia and did well it would boost their confidence for the World Cup."
Afridi, who is playing for his third franchise (Multan) in the PSL, dismissed talks about him finally taking retirement from all cricket.
"I haven't had a very good time in this PSL but let's see which franchise picks me next season or I stay with Multan," he said.
The former captain also felt that it was time for the PCB to hold its home series and the entire PSL in Pakistan.
"It was my dream to play this PSL in front of the crowds of Karachi where I have been raised and played all my cricket. I got it today."
"The way the people have responded to the PSL matches being held in Pakistan I think it is a clear message that we as a nation love cricket and want to see matches at home."
Experienced trio back for South Africa remaining ODI games
Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Aiden Markram all return to South Africa’s squad for the last two One Day Internationals against Sri Lanka as Cricket South Africa make changes with an eye on World Cup selection.
Amla, 35, was rested for the first three ODIs, all of which were won by South Africa, after a poor test series last month amid growing speculation his international career is coming to an end.
Duminy, 34, is back after being out of action for several months following shoulder surgery while opener Markram, a surprise omission from the squad at the start of the five-match series, has won his place back after back-to-back centuries in domestic competition.
“Experience is always a key factor in major tournaments such as the World Cup,” said selection panel convener Linda Zondi as he announced the changes.
“We will use the final two matches in the ODI series to continue to examine all the options that are available to us as far as the World Cup squad is concerned.”
South Africa face hosts England in the opening game of the World Cup at The Oval in London on May 30.
Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.