Pakistan’s Afridi withdraws retirement from Test cricket

KARACHI, April 27, 2006 (AFP) – Pakistani allrounder Shahid Afridi has withdrawn his temporary retirement from Test cricket, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Thursday. Afridi, 26, shocked his team when he announced earlier this month that he was giving up the longer form of the game until after the 2007 World Cup to concentrate on limited-overs cricket.

PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan “has persuaded Shahid Afridi to withdraw his temporary retirement from Test cricket,” the board’s spokesman Abbas Zaidi said in a statement.

Khan had asked Afridi to review his decision “in the national interest and had assured him that PCB would be sensitive to the pressures that had led to his earlier decision,” the spokesman said.

“Afridi agreed to respond to the PCB chairmans call and dedicated himself to the success of the team.”

The decision means Afridi will be available for Pakistan’s tour of England in July and August, for the home series against the West Indies in November and also for their tour of South Africa early next year.

Afridi said in mid-April the strain of an excessive cricketing schedule was the main reason behind his decision and that he was not gett