Performance in all formats of the game considered for WC: Khan

Updated: Jan 18, 2011, 19:21 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan chief selector Mohsin Khan said that they picked the best available squad depending on the performance of the players in all formats of the game in recent times.

The national selectors omitted senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf from the final 15-member World Cup squad which was announced without naming the captain.

"We have stuck with those players who have been performing well for Pakistan in all forms of the game in recent times," he said.

Khan, however, did not explain why Yousuf was omitted.

But the selectors decided to show faith with youngster Asad Shafiq, instead of Yousuf who was captaining the Lahore team in the ongoing national one-day championship in a bid to convince the selectors he was fit and in form for
the tournament.

Sources said that the selectors were not satisfied with the senior batsman`s fitness.

The selectors have however kept faith with senior fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who will lead a pace attack that also includes Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir who has still to play for the national squad since recovering from a major knee operation.

The selectors have also picked two specialist spinners in Abdul Rehman and Saeed Ajmal who have become regular members of the national team in recent months.

Mohsin said that the two spinners were picked despite the presence of Afridi and Muhammad Hafeez because the conditions in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh suited the slow bowlers.

"We are confident that the two spinners will deliver the goods in the World Cup," he said.

All the players who are presently touring New Zealand for the one-day series were named in the 15-man squad indicating that the selectors had faith in their ability to do well in the mega event starting from February 19.

But the decision to not name the captain for the World Cup although Shahid Afridi has led the team in T20 and ODI since last year and is also presently captain for the series in New Zealand indicates that Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq remains a strong choice to also lead the one-day squad.

Afridi had said before leaving for New Zealand last night that he had never run after the captaincy and the board had every right to appoint anyone it felt deserved the captaincy.

"I am under no pressure because of the captaincy, "Afridi said.

Pakistan`s outing in the last two World Cups in 2003 and 2007 had been disappointing as they were eliminated in the preliminary rounds.

Pakistan squad: Muhammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Abdul Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir.

PTI