`Forgotten Pak players may return to national fold again`

Karachi: Some forgotten players such as Imran Nazir, Mohammad Khalil and Zulqarnain Haider may soon return to Pakistan`s national cricket team as the PCB is keen to bring them back.

The national selectors will announce the squad for the tour to Bangladesh on Monday and it is likely that some top players in the past may be recalled.

"The selectors have decided to wait until the fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka (on Sunday) after which they will finalise the squad," a PCB official said.

There have been reports that the selectors delayed announcing the squad after interference from some governing council members who wanted top performers of their region to be included for the Bangladesh series.

But a PCB source said that there were issues over the final make up of the team as the PCB was interested in recalling some forgotten players.

"Imran Nazir, Mohammad Khalil and Zulqarnain Haider are among those whose names are being considered for the coming tour," the source disclosed.

He said the new PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf is taking keen interest in the selection of the touring squad.

Nazir, an aggressive opener, has not played for Pakistan since 2010. He played against England in Dubai in a T20 series. Nazir has appeared in eight Tests, 89 ODIs and 16 T20 internationals. His last ODI was against New Zealand in the 2009 Champions Trophy.

"There are people in the board who are big supporters of Nazir and want to see him back in the team. To add to the problems, Nazir is presently playing for Zarai Taraqyati Bank in domestic cricket which was headed by Zaka until he took over as PCB chief last month.”

"So there are people in the ZTBL cricket set up who are trying to convince the PCB Chairman to give Nazir and the other players a chance," the source said.

Interestingly, wicketkeeper Haider and Khalil also play for ZTBL on the domestic circuit.

The problem facing the selectors is that they are reluctant as is captain, Misbah-ul-Haq and coach, Mohsin Khan to make changes in the present squad which has so far done well against Sri Lanka .

The source also said the selectors were worried that the influential people in the board were taking the tour to Bangladesh too lightly.

Under the existing PCB regulations, the Chairman has the power to veto the selectors and tell them to include or drop players. Former Chairman, Ijaz Butt is said to have used his veto power on many occasions with the selection committee.


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