Afridi announces Pakistan comeback

KARACHI, October 18, 2011 (AFP) – All-rounder Shahid Afridi on Tuesday reversed his decision to retire from international cricket, saying he wanted to play for Pakistan since the chairman of the cricket board has been replaced. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari last week appointed banker Zaka Ashraf chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to replace Ijaz Butt, who had developed serious differences with Afridi in May.

“Since the board chairman has changed, I take back my retirement decision and am available to play for Pakistan,” Afridi told reporters. “I had said I will never play with Butt as chairman, so things have changed now.”

The 31-year-old all-rounder announced his retirement from international cricket after being dumped as one-day captain following a row over selection with team coach Waqar Younis while on tour in the West Indies in May.

Afridi had also wanted Waqar and manager Intikhab Alam replaced. Waqar quit last month citing health problems and Alam has been made director in the PCB, changes which paved the way for Afridi’s return.

When he retired, the PCB suspended his central contract and revoked permission for him to play abroad. Afridi then went to court, but the dispute was resolved