Expert cricbuzz prediction: Afridi could remain chief selector, with Arthur set to decide Park’s future later this month

According to sources, Afridi, who is the interim chief selector, had initially only accepted the responsibility for the ongoing series against New Zealand, but is now having second thoughts.

Shahid Afridi could continue as chief selector after the home series against New Zealand while Mickey Arthur is expected to make a decision on whether to return as Pakistan’s head coach later this month.

According to reliable sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Afridi, who is the interim chief selector, had initially only accepted the responsibility for the ongoing series against New Zealand, but is now having second thoughts.

“Shahid has had talks with PCB Chairman Najam Sethi who had initially convinced him to work as interim chief selector but now discussions have taken place on the possibility of the former captain continuing in the role given that this year Pakistan has two major events — the 50-overs Asia Cup and the World Cup in India,” one source said.

The source added that Sethi is happy with the way Afridi and his fellow selectors — Abdul Razzaq, Rao Iftikhar and Haroon Rasheed had picked players for the two Tests and the ODI series against New Zealand. “It is likely that Shahid will be persuaded to schedule so that he can devote time to his foundation work,” the source said.

Another source said Sethi is awaiting a response from Arthur who asked him to return as head coach of the Pakistani team.

“Arthur, who is currently on a long-term contract with Derbyshire County, has asked for time to consider his options and position and has announced a firm response later this month.

Arthur served as Pakistan’s head coach from 2016 until he was in 2019. After the 2019 World Cup, he was released from his contract when Sethi stepped down and the new management of Ehsan Mani took over the board. Sources say Arthur has also expressed interest in returning to international cricket as a coach.

The good news for PCB is the absence of the team’s international involvement following the conclusion of New Zealand’s Pakistan tour from 14 January to his April, following the conclusion of the Pakistan Super League in March.

“Pakistan’s next international pledge is to host New Zealand in five ODIs and five T20Is from April to May, followed by two test series with Sri Lanka and an ODI series with Afghanistan by August. “So PCB has time to finalize the team’s new management and the long-term post-PSL selection committee.”

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