T20 World Cup: PCB recalls Akmal, Razzaq and Nazir
Lahore: Deciding to bank on experience, Pakistan national selectors have recalled Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Imran Nazir for the upcoming Twenty20 series against Australia in UAE followed by the ICC World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Mohammad Hafeez has also been retained as the T20 captain till the end of the year in what came as a major boost for the allrounder.
"Hafeez will be the T20 captain till December this year," a board spokesman said.
Hafeez had replaced Misbah-ul-Haq as the national T20 captain in May before the Sri Lanka series and Pakistan managed to drew the series 1-1.
While recalling wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal for the Australia series and ICC T20 World Cup the selectors discarded young keeper, Shakil Ansar after just playing him in two T20 matches against Sri Lanka.
The return of Kamran was on the cards after he recently appeared before the integrity committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which gave the nod to the selectors to consider him for the upcoming assignments.
"Kamran is an obvious choice for limited overs cricket and he will add depth to the batting as well," chief selector, Iqbal Qasim said.
Qasim also said Nazir, who last played for Pakistan in 2010, was rewarded for some consistent performances in domestic cricket and in foreign T20 leagues.
But Nazir has come in at the cost of another dashing young opener, Ahmed Shahzad who played against Sri Lanka.
The selectors have also dropped left arm pacer, Wahab Riaz from the squad that went to Sri Lanka.
Razzaq had last appeared for Pakistan in 2011 during the one-day series against Sri Lanka but had to return home midway through the series due to fitness issues.
"It is a very balanced T20 squad and ready for two very tough assignments," Qasim said.
The PCB had earlier not given clearance to the selectors to consider Kamran in recent times after his name appeared in the spot-fixing trial held in London last year involving Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamir.
Kamran was suspected of links with bookmakers. His last appearance for Pakistan was in the 2011 World Cup.
Pakistan will play three one-dayers and three T20 matches against Australia from August 28 in the UAE before going to Sri Lanka for the ICC World Cup, which it won in 2009.
Pakistan T20 squad for Australia series and ICC World Cup: Mohammad Hafeez (Capt), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Reza Hasan and Saeed Ajmal.