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Afridi back for ODIs

All-rounder Shahid Afridi will return to Pakistan’s 15-man squad for the five-match one-day international series against South Africa starting later this month, selectors said on Friday.

The 27-year-old missed Pakistan’s two-match Test series after saying that he did not want to play during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and wanted to rest after the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.

Afridi was declared player of that tournament, in which Pakistan lost in the final to India.

“The 15-man squad is for the first three matches and after assessing the fitness of the players, we will announce the team for the last two matches,” chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told reporters.

Also staging comebacks were opener Imran Nazir and all-rounder Sohail Tanveer, both of whom missed out on the Tests against South Africa after featuring in the Twenty20 World Cup.

Fast bowler Mohammad Asif will undergo a fitness test before the one-day series after he suffered a recurrence of an elbow injury during the second Test against South Africa, which finished on Friday.

Pakistan and South Africa play one-day matches in Lahore on October 18 and 20. The remaining matches are scheduled for Faisalabad (October 23), Multan (October 26) and Karachi (October 29).

Squad: Shoaib Malik (c), Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Misbah-ul Haq, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Yasir Hameed, Abdul Rehman, Sohail Tanveer

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