Pakistan chairman of selectors to talk to Afridi on Test retirement

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Lahore, Apr 17 (UNI) Pakistan's selection committee chairman Waseem Bari said Shahid Afridi's sudden decision to quit Tests until next year's World Cup has come as a surprise to him and he would ask the allrounder to reconsider his decision after the two-match series against India in Abu Dhabi.

''I will talk to Afridi, but not now, because he has taken a decision very recently, and must have consulted someone before announcing retirement from Test cricket,'' Bari was quoted by the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) as saying.

''It was Afridi's personal decision but I think he is beneficial for Pakistan in both versions of the game of cricket,'' he added.

The swashbuckling allrounder announced a temporary retirement from Test cricket last week, saying that he wanted to concentrate on ODIs.

His decision has evoked sharp reactions here, including his home cricket Association, the Karachi City Cricket Association, whose Secretary Syed Sirajul Islam Bukhari called on him to rethink his decision.

''His record is highly impressive, which confirms that he should continue to be an integral part of both Test and one-day Pakistan teams,'' Mr Bukhari said in a statement.

''It is heartening to learn that Shahid wants to focus his full attention to prepare for the 2007 World Cup but that does not mean that he should deprive Pakistan of his services in Test matches during this intervening period,'' he added.

Mr Bukhari said Afridi should have been more careful and consulted senior players before making such a move.

''Shahid should have consulted his mentors and well-wishers before coming out with such a startling announcement,'' he said.

UNI XC PM YA HS1038

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