Ahmed Shehzad © AFP
Ahmed Shehzad © AFP

Pakistan‘s decision to not include Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and Shahid Afridi has ignited criticism from current international cricketers, who have taken to social media to express their thoughts. While Afridi has found no sympathisers after he was axed from the list of the probables for the tour of England 2016, the explosive batsman Shehzad has witnessed three international cricket stars taking his side. Shehzad and Afridi were not included in the Pakistan side due to disciplinary reasons, and Kevin Pietersen, Grant Elliott and Chris Gayle have expressed their surprise at the exclusion of Shehzad from the side.

According to AFP, Pakistan’s new selectors on Monday dropped star players Afridi, Shehzad and Umar Akmal from next month’s tour of England, stressing there would be no compromises after the country’s disastrous exit from the World Twenty20 in India. Former Afghanistan coach Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is heading up the newly formed selection committee as part of wholesale changes following last month’s tournament humiliation, announced 35 players would attend boot camp starting in Kakul from May 14 to June 4.

He said Afridi — who announced he would continue playing the Twenty20 format after resigning as captain in the wake of the event — needed to perform in domestic matches. “Since we are playing only four Twenty20 matches this year we want to give new players a chance, and that will also allow Afridi to rest and perform in domestic matches,” Inzamam said at a news conference in Lahore.

Gayle took to Twitter to express his surprise, albeit in a slightly humorous manner. This is what Gayle wrote:



As for Shehzad and Umar, he said, “the selection committee will not compromise on discipline”. Shehzad was declared best batsman of the Pakistan Cup one-day tournament which ended on Sunday, scoring 372 runs, but along with Umar has been involved in various disciplinary breaches.