Kamran, Younis, Razzaq axed from team for WI tour


LAHORE – Many new faces have been selected in the Pakistan team for the West Indies series after seniors Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal and Umer Gul were shown the doors. Akmal was heavily criticised for his poor wicketkeeping as he dropped crucial catches and missed stumpings during the World Cup. Razzaq took only five wickets and made 104 runs in eight World Cup games while Younis, who started the World Cup very impressively, made just 69 runs in last five matches.
The selection committee of the PCB Wednesday announced a 16-member team with a new Karachi-born wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman. These 16 players have been named for the T20 and ODI series, beginning from April 18.
Chief selector Mohsin Khan said that at the moment there was no place for Kamran and Razzak in the team but made no mention of Younis Khan and said that Younis and Umer Gul were rested for the first leg of the series. “These players should not feel they were dropped, they were given rest. They are our main players but we want to tap new players and are given a chance. If we get even two players of world class it would be a great success,” he added.
Shahid Afridi and Misbahul Haq are the two remaining senior players in the team while Taufiq Umer is one from the recent past. Test opener Taufiq Umar has been recalled in the one-day team after more than six years. The left-handed opening batsman has scored 447 runs in 19 ODIs but last played a 50-over international against Australia in 2005 before he was sidelined. Middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin, left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan, all-rounder Hammad Azam, fast bowler Aizaz Cheema and rookie wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman have found place in the final 16. Junaid, who did not play a single match of the World Cup, would surely get a chance on the West Indies tour.
“All those youngsters who have performed brilliantly in the domestic cricket have been given a chance,” said Mohsin. It was interesting to note that opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad found a place in the team despite scoring only 44 runs in five World Cup games before he was dropped from the last three matches. The PCB has also named five reserve players. Imran Farhat who was a strong contender for a place in the team was not considered along with Fawad Alam. The committee wanted to include Fawad but one of the selectors was of the view that Farhat had performed better than him in the domestic season. So after debate both were sidelined and instead fresh blood was considered to be the best choice. The tour consists of a solitary T20 international, five ODIs, and two Test matches. The series will commence with the only T20 match to be played at the Beausejour Stadium in St. Lucia on April 21.
Squad: Shahid Afridi (captain), Muhammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Taufiq Umer, Usman Salahuddin, Misbah-ul Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umer Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam, Aizaz Cheema and Mohammad Salman (wicketkeeper), Reserves: Rameez Raja, Sadaf Hussain, Asif Zakir, Sohail Khan, Zulifqar Babar. Team Management: Intikhab Alam (manager), Waqar Younis (coach), Aaqib Javed (bowling coach), Shahid Aslam (asst. team manager), Faisal Hayat (physiotherapist), Saboor Ahmed (trainer), Usman Hashmi (analyst) and Malang Ali (masseur).