Shahid Afridi has criticised Cricket South Africa (CSA) for releasing their players for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the middle of the three-match ODI series against Pakistan.

Following Pakistan’s 2-1 ODI series win over South Africa, the former all-rounder said: “Surprising to see CSA 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,” he added.

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South Africa, playing without several star players — including Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada — showed great grit and determination but eventually suffered a 28-run loss in the third and final ODI. 

Anrich Nortje, who was a serious threat to Pakistani batsmen, and David Miller also left to play IPL 2021 in India.

Meanwhile, 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,” said Afridi.

The national side clinched the series 2-1 with a comfortable 28-run win at Centurion, becoming the first ever Asian team to win a bilateral series twice in South Africa.

Singer turned actor, who seems to have good knowledge of cricket also thrashed CSA, saying: “T20 + [bags of money] > national pride. Sorry to say but @OfficialCSA has let the whole cricketing world down.”