Afridi, Umar make comeback for West Indies tour
Karachi: Flamboyant Pakistani allrounder Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal today made a comeback to the national team for the ODI and T20 series against the West Indies while senior players Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal were shown the door for the Caribbean tour starting July 14.
Pakistan will play five one-dayers and two T20 internationals.
After a dismal performance at the Champions Trophy last month, Malik and Kamran had to face the brunt along with opener Imran Farhat, who fared badly in the three group matches.
While opener Ahmed Shahzad, allrounders Sohail Tanvir and Hammad Azam have been recalled by the selectors, uncapped players Haris Sohail, Zulfiqar Babar and wicketkeeper Rizwan Ahmed are also part of the squads.
"We have started our rebuilding process keeping the 2015 World Cup in mind. We have tried to pick the best blend of players for the tour as we need to rebuild again after the Champions Trophy," chief selector Iqbal Qasim told reporters in Lahore.
Qasim said the trio was dropped because of poor form but could make comebacks with strong performances in domestic cricket.
"It is not the end of the road for them they have served us well in the past and they can always come back," he said.
On Afridi`s recall, the chief selector said: "We can`t just drop all seniors and put pressure on the new players or youngsters. We also feel that wickets in the West Indies are doubled paced and there is low bounce and Afridi can not only shore up the lower order but also be effective as a bowler on such pitches.
Misbah said that the selectors and management had tried to pick the best available resources and the target was to build a side for the next World Cup.
"We have tried to have a blend of players required for the ODI and T20 formats and I am sure we can do well in the West Indies because the pitches there suit us," he said.
One-Day Internationals: Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Ali, Umar Amin, Mohammad Rizwan, Abdul Rehman and Haris Sohail.
T20: Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Mohammad Hafeez (Capt), Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Saeed Ajmal, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Asad Ali, Umar Amin, Sohail Tanvir, Babar Zulfiqar and Haris Sohail.