x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Afridi back to play ODIs for Pakistan after a chat with Ashraf

The popular former captain is part of the squad to play Sri Lanka in the UAE later this month.

Shahid Afridi will make his return from international exile when Pakistan meet Sri Lanka in five one-day internationals (ODI) in the UAE later this month.

Afridi quit international cricket after falling out with Ijaz Butt, the former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, and Waqar Younis, the coach, soon after winning an ODI series against the West Indies earlier this year.

But after a meeting yesterday with Zaka Ashraf, the new PCB chairman, which he described as "very positive", the all-rounder was named in the 16-man squad for the series which starts on November 11. "I am delighted to be back in the team and I am ready to ... give my full support to captain Misbah-ul-Haq," Afridi told reporters.

Abdul Razzaq, 31, is also back and will have fine memories of the UAE after scoring 109 not out off 72 balls against South Africa in Abu Dhabi.

He has not been picked since the World Cup but the return of the two all-rounders will add significant experience to the squad as they have played 587 ODIs between them.

Umar Akmal, the batsman and younger brother of the discarded wicketkeeper Kamran, is also back in the squad after missing the Test series against Sri Lanka. The selectors omitted the batsmen, Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali, wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal and the pace bowler Wahab Riaz from the squad.

Meanwhile, Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara were omitted from Sri Lanka's 15-man squad.

Mendis, a spinner, has not played for Sri Lanka since withdrawing halfway through a home test series against Australia in September citing an injury, and Kulasekara, a pace bowler, last featured in ODIs against Australia.

Dilhara Fernando, who withdrew from a tour to England in June due to an injury, returns.