Integrity Committee grills Malik, Akmal but makes no decision

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LAHORE – The Pakistan Cricket Board’s Integrity Committee was locked Thursday in debate over the selection of Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik in the team for the ODIs against New Zealand and the Word Cup 2011. Danish Kaneria is not being considered for selection, it was learnt.
The PCB’s Integrity Committee had a closed-door meeting with the three players and had also called Yasir Hameed and Khalid Latif for questioning. However, no final decision has yet been taken.
Reports coming from the board say that Kaneria was considered for the forthcoming assignments because Pakistan is selecting the team for the ODIs and he is considered a Test specialist. Meanwhile, Akmal and Malik would have to undergo long stressful sessions with the committee before any final decision is taken. All of these players were not selected for any event since last summer’s England tour.
There is a general feeling that although there is nothing against these players, the ICC is playing the mind games behind their selection. There are contrasting reports that Akmal and Malik might make the team but Kaneria would not be considered. After a day long meeting of the integrity committee, the PCB selection committee is expected to meet today to announce its preliminary squad for the World Cup, after being given an extension til Jan 5 by the ICC.
Malik and Akmal, if cleared by the committee, would be undisputed picks for the 30-man squad and are more than likely to appear in the final 15. Khalid Latif was asked to give his point of view in the investigations of Pakistan’s semi-final defeat against Afghanistan at the Asian Games.