'Is it that easy to earn Pakistan’s cap?' - Shahid Afridi slams selectors over Mohammad Haris' ODI inclusion

"I also back the inclusion of young players but at least let them play domestic cricket," Afridi said.

Mohammad Haris
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Mohammad Haris (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Mohammad Haris made his debut for Pakistan in the recently won ODI series against West India at home. The young wicketkeeper-batter featured in all three matches but failed to make an impact, with just six runs in two innings. Former star all-rounder Shahid Afridi feels that it was a “foolish decision” by the chief selector Mohammad Wasim to select a player for ODI matches on the basis of performances in the Pakistan Super League 2022 (PSL).

The 21-year-old batter scored 166 runs in just five PSL matches at a strike rate of 186.51 with the help of one fifty, but he has scored just 544 runs in 23 matches at an average of 34.0 and a strike rate of 101.68 in List A cricket. After the first match against West Indies, former cricketer Rashid Latif also slammed the selectors for over Haris’ selection in the ODI squad. Now, Afridi has questioned the selection committee for the same reason.

“It was a foolish decision by these people. I won’t say this to Ramiz Raja but if Mohammad Wasim is listening, I ask him to don’t take such steps. Why are you selecting a player who performed in two T20 matches for ODI cricket? Is the process that easy to earn Pakistan’s cap? He [Haris] should have played T20 cricket if he was selected on the basis of performance in the shortest format,” Afridi told Samaa TV.

Not as if Rizwan’s cricket has finished that you brought a new player: Shahid Afridi

Mohammad Rizwan has excellent numbers in Test and T20I formats, but he has failed to replicate the same in the ODIs. The wicketkeeper-batter has scored 982 runs in 47 ODIs at an average slightly over 28, and also struggled in the West Indies series with just 85 runs in three matches. Haris featuring in the squad raises more questions about Rizwan’s future in the ODI format as well. However, Afridi has backed the star batter and feels the player should enjoy ODI cricket instead of doing anything special.

“I also back the inclusion of young players but at least let them play domestic cricket. You have Sarfaraz and Rizwan as well. It is not as if Rizwan’s cricket has finished that you have brought in another player. He doesn’t need to do anything special. Rizwan should enjoy ODI cricket, similar to what he does in T20I cricket,” Afridi said.