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Afridi mulls Test comeback

All-rounder willing to lead Pakistan in five-day format if required

Afridi: leadership qualities tested to the full in adverse circumstances

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Shahid Afridi will consider coming out of Test retirement for Pakistan's series against South Africa in November.

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"I will think about it and if the team needs it, I may consider playing the Test series against South Africa."

Shahid Afridi

Quotes of the week

Afridi leads his country in the limited-overs cricket but quit the Test arena in July after Pakistan lost to Australia by 150 runs at Lord's - his first appearance in the five-day format in almost four years.

He returned to the helm to oversee Pakistan's fightback in the one-dayers at the end of a difficult tour of England, coming from 2-0 down to level the series before losing the decider at the Rose Bowl.

Afridi described the trip as the "most difficult" of his career, Pakistan also lost 2-0 in the T20s and 3-1 in the Tests.

Overshadowed

Results, however, were overshadowed by events off the field, Salman Butt - who succeeded Afridi as Test captain - and seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were suspended by the International Cricket Council following allegations in the News of the World of spot-fixing during the the fourth Test at Lord's.

All three - plus fringe squad member Wahab Riaz - were interviewed under caution by Scotland Yard detectives as part of a police investigation into the claims.

The ICC also publically revealed they are investigating Pakistan's scoring patterns during the third one-day international, which they tourists won by 23 runs, based on information passed to them by The Sun newspaper.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt responded by saying he had heard in "bookies' circles" that England threw the third one-day international - a claim denied by England's players, who have since demanded an apology from Butt and threatened legal action.

"The best part of the whole tour was that the players showed unity even in difficult times and gave a good fight in the one-day series against England," Afridi said on his arrival home at Karachi airport.

"It was tough because of the controversies and became very difficult to cope with, because every time we went out of the hotel people passed remarks against us.

"Because of the controversies on the tour, it was the most difficult tour of my 14-year career."

Selfless

Pakistan are due to play two T20s, five ODIs and two Tests against South Africa from October 26 to November 24.

The matches are taking place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as Pakistan remains off-limits for touring sides in the wake of a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore in March 2009 that left eight Pakistanis dead and seven members of the Sri Lankan squad injured.

With Butt likely to still be suspended, Afridi is willing to end his brief Test retirement if it is deemed to be in the interests of the team.

"I will think about it and if the team needs it, I may consider playing the Test series against South Africa," he said.

Should Shahid Afridi come out of Test retirement to captain Pakistan against South Africa?

  • Yes
  • No