South Africa lost the three-match ODI series 2-1 to Pakistan on Wednesday (April 7) with several players from the home side not turning out for the third and final ODI since they had to leave early for India to take part in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The likes of Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje left for India after South Africa won the second ODI.
Pakistan won the ODI series with a 28-run win in the third ODI but former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has questioned Cricket South Africa’s decision to release several of their key players early. Afridi said it was ‘sad to see T20 leagues influencing international cricket’.
“Surprising to see @OfficialCSA allowing players to travel for IPL in the middle of a series. It is sad to see T20 leagues influencing international cricket. Some rethinking needs to be done!!” Afridi tweeted.
Surprising to see @OfficialCSA allowing players to travel for IPL in the middle of a series. It is sad to see T20 leagues influencing international cricket. Some rethinking needs to be done!! https://t.co/5McUzFuo8R
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 7, 2021
Former Pakistan all-rounder Afridi also congratulated Pakistan on their ‘fine series win’. He was particularly impressed with opener Fakhar Zaman who scored back-to-back centuries in the last two ODIs and played a key role in Pakistan’s win.
Afridi also praised the batting of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who missed out on his century by just six runs in the third ODI, getting out to Andile Phehlukwayo on the last ball of their innings.
“Congratulations to Pakistan on a fine series win. Great to see Fakhar follow his brilliant innings in Jo’Burg with another 100. Babar was once again all class, excellent bowling effort by all. A job well done,” wrote Afridi.
Riding on skipper Babar Azam’s century, Pakistan won the first ODI by three wickets. However, they fell short in the second ODI by 17 runs, despite Fakhar Zaman’s record knock of 193 – the highest individual score during a run chase. The visitors clinched the series 2-1 with a comfortable 28-run win Centurion on Wednesday.