LAHORE - National selection committee led by Iqbal Qasim turned down the request of Misbah who sought Afridi’s inclusion in the squad at the cost of Umar Akmal, it has been learnt.

Misbah’s argued that Afridi remains a match winning player despite being out of form and his experience would matter a lot in India under pressure and secondly that his presence would put pressure on the Indian side given his past performances, a source confided to this scribe on Tuesday.

But the selectors turn down ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq plea and axed experienced all-rounder Shahid Afridi for the series. The selectors also came under pressure to select opener Imran Nazir and some other players but stuck to their guns to give a chance to the outstanding performers in the ongoing domestic season, the source added.

But the source said the selectors insisted on keeping Afridi out of the one-day squad saying they wanted to rebuild the one-day team keeping in mind the next World Cup. “Misbah’s argued also that since they had retained Afridi in the T20 squad he should also be given a chance in the ODI squad,” the source added.

In the selection for the Twenty20 squad, there were plenty of outside pressure to retain opener Imran Nazir who struggled to regain form in the World T20 Cup in Sri Lanka few months back. “There were people who wanted the selectors to give Imran Nazir another chance but the selectors insisted they wanted to give a chance to Ahmed Shahzad,” the source said.

Another reliable source stated that the selectors had also conveyed to Afridi that the two T20 matches in India would be crucial for his future as a Pakistan team member. Interestingly, there was not much debate on the ouster of either senior all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.

“In Razzaq’s case it appears as if he has been punished for having made the public comments about Hafeez’s captaincy after the team returned from Sri Lanka,” the source said. But a source close to the selectors said the idea behind dropping Razzaq was to start grooming a younger player for the future.

“That is why Asad Ali has been chosen as he is a good medium pacer and capable batsman and performed well in the recent national T20 championship taking 15 wickets.” Asad also hails from Faisalabad the hometown of both the national captains, Hafeez and Misbah.

In case Afridi proved his credentials in the Twenty20 games either with the willow or leather by putting good all-round show then the tour selection will be in trouble either to retain him for the one-day series or sent him back, the source said.

Iqbal Qasim revealed during the announcement of One-day squad that dropping excluding Shahid Afridi from the team was an extremely difficult move and he still believes that Boom Boom can return to the 50-over format if he performs well at the domestic level and also in T20 Internationals.

“Dropping Afridi was a difficult decision,” Qasim said. “He is no doubt a great player and has the ability to win a game, but the decision has been taken in the interest of the team. We did retain him in the T20 squad and if he performs well he can win back his ODI place in the future. We are looking for a youngster as Afridi’s replacement and I am sure we will find the right man soon from the domestic circuit,” Qasim added. A well placed source in Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed that the team was selected and announced unanimously and there were no differences over the T20 and ODI squads selection. “If Afridi performs in the Twenty20 internationals then the PCB has the option to retain him for the One-day squad”, the source added.

But the ouster of Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq could cost dearly to the team and selectors if Pakistan win the series in the absence of the two explosive all-rounders then selectors will become heroes and if results went against Pakistan then will be ready to face the wrath of Pakistani nation as they do not like defeat at the hands of India. They are paid selectors and be ready to lose their jobs in case of defeat in the series, the source said.