Pak selectors pick youngsters for ODI, T20s against England

Lahore: Young batsmen batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq along with wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal were on Tuesday rewarded for their fine Test performances as Pakistani selectors retained them in the separate squads for the one-day and Twenty20 cricket series against England in the UAE.

A major omission was all-rounder Sohail Tanvir – a regular in the one-day team.

Also retained are spin twins Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman after they shared 42 wickets between them to lead Pakistan to a comprehensive 3-0 whitewash of England in the Test series.

Azhar, Asad and Adnan all chipped in with impressive performances in the Test series with Azhar scoring a match winning hundred with Younis Khan in the third Test that Pakistan won on Monday.

Adnan -- the brother of former Pakistan wicketkeeper, Kamran Akmal -- also edged out one-day specialist keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed as the selectors preferred him for both the one-day and Twenty20 matches.

Pakistan plays four one-dayers and three T20 matches against England besides a one-off international against Afghanistan in the present series.

The selectors, while ignoring former captain Shoaib Malik for poor form late last year, have included all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Hammad Azam for both the one-day and T20 matches.

Afridi was a certain selection but Hammad makes a comeback to the squad after some consistent performances in the domestic tournaments.

"Our aim is to not only field a strong blend of experience and youth but to also prepare players for the future especially for the Twenty20 World Cup this year," chief selector, Mohammad Illyas said.

He said Malik remained in contention but the selectors wanted him to play some more domestic cricket.

The selectors have also called up rookie wicketkeeper Ovais Zia for the T20 series after he produced some fine performances in the domestic T20 events and the South Asian T20 championship few months back.

The selectors have also kept faith with the pace battery of Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz and Junaid Khan despite talk about Mohammad Khalil getting a chance in the one-day series.

Pakistan squads:

One-day: Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafique, Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman.

Twenty20: Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Ovais Zia, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafique, Adnan Akmal, Hammad Azam, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman.