Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan allrounder, has opted out of the Test series against South Africa, indicating he did not want to play while fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector confirmed that Afridi had asked to be rested for the Test series and his request had been accepted. "Afridi asked the board to give him a rest because he wanted to fast during the remaining part of Ramadan," Salahuddin said. "We have decided to accept his request and allowed him a rest. He will be in consideration for the one-day series."
"I asked the Pakistan board to allow me to skip the two Tests against South Africa because it would be difficult to fast and play in Ramadan," Afridi told AFP.
Afridi dismissed suggestions that he had withdrawn because of his poor show in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 against India. "We lost the final due to poor batting and I apologised to the fans for not doing my part in the final but that did not influence my decision of not playing Tests."
Afridi was named Player of the Tournament in South Africa with 91 runs at a strike rate of 197.82 and 12 wickets at an economy rate of 6.71.
Pakistan's squad for the first Test against South Africa is scheduled to be announced on Friday.