- Nasima Akter
Shahid Afridi Hosts Dinner for Pakistan Cricket Team
Following the end of the Pakistan and New Zealand Test series, Pakistan's interim chief selector Shahid Afridi hosted a dinner for the Pakistan team. The dinner was held on Sunday evening in Afridi’s residence.
The team’s arrival at the chief selector’s home was caught on video and shared on Pakistan Cricket Board's Twitter. The footage showed the players having a good time at Afridi's place, along with legendary squash player Jahangir Khan, who was invited as the special guest.
The video was captioned, "An evening spent at Shahid Afridi's house with the team getting a chance to meet legendary squash player Jahangir Khan,"
It was reported that legendary squash player Jahangir Khan was specially invited to the dinner to meet the team. In addition to the squash player, injured Shaheen Shah Afridi was in attendance at the former all-rounder’s residence.
Shaheen Shah Afridi is currently recovering from a knee injury he suffered last November. So far, there is no confirmation on when Shaheen will be able to play again. During the video, he was seen welcoming the players and the support staff, including bowling coach Shaun Tait.
Aside from the two players, the video showed Afridi greeting the Pakistan cricketers. He was also seen hugging skipper Babar Azam and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan.
Shahid Afridi was named interim chief selector at the end of December 2022. Afridi was made selector after former PCB chairman Najam Sethi returned to the helm of the new 14-member management committee of the board. He succeeded Mohammad Wasim who was a part of Ramiz Raja’s panel.
Afridi’s former Pakistan teammates Abdul Razzaq and Rao Iftikhar Anjum are also a part of the new selection committee along with Haroon Rasheed.
As his first move as chief selector, the former Pakistan captain added three more bowlers to the 16-member squad for the recently concluded Test series against New Zealand.
Recently it was reported that Afridi is having second thoughts about continuing in this post after the conclusion of the series. Reportedly, Afridi only accepted this position for the home series against the Kane Williamson-led side.
Not many details were shared on the dinner aside from the Twitter video and that it took place before Pakistan’s next ODI series.
Pakistan had a decent performance in the ODIs as the Babar Azam-led side won eight out of nine ODIs that they played in 2022. This included a 2-1 series win over Australia at home. In their recent Test series against New Zealand, both sides could have won the 2nd Test, but it finally ended in a draw as bad lighting curtailed the final day's play. In the end, the Test Series concluded with a draw.
New Zealand, on the other hand, had a strong performance in 2022. They were the runners-up in the last World Cup in 2019 and won ten of their 16 ODIs. They have been dominant against Pakistan, having won 12 of the last 15 ODIs between the two teams.
Currently, Pakistan and New Zealand are having an ODI series against each other and will play against each other again in T20 matches starting on April 13.