Yousuf dropped; Kamran, Kaneria ignored

Karachi: Pakistan cricket continues to go through a turbulent period as the national selectors on Tuesday dropped former captain and senior batman Mohammad Yousuf and ignored wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for the upcoming tour to New Zealand.

In another intriguing decision the selectors also ignored the performance of another former captain Shoaib Malik in the ongoing domestic season and did not select him in either squad.

"Right now we have announced the T20 and Test squads and the team for the one-day matches would be announced later on for the tour," a Pakistan Cricket Board official said.

The official clarified that the delay in announcing the ODI squad was because three T20 matches and two Tests would be played first.

However, he said that the decision to ignore Kamran, Kaneria, Malik and also seasoned opener Imran Farhat was linked to the PCB still awaiting clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"There are question marks over the behaviour of these players and their alleged ties with bookmakers and unless these suspicions are removed neither the ICC nor the PCB is keen to select them in the team," a well placed source revealed.

Kamran was dropped after the tour to England and not picked for the South Africa series, while Kaneria was named in the team for the Tests against South Africa in the UAE but stopped from joining the squad by the PCB at the last moment last month.

"There is a clear will to implement reforms in Pakistan cricket and do some cleaning up. That is why any player about whom there is even a little doubt is not being considered for selection. But the delay in announcing the ODI squad means the board is waiting for clearance from the ICC," the source said.

Interestingly Kamran and Malik have both been in prolific form in domestic cricket this season with the latter scoring three consecutive hundreds and taking wickets as well.

Unfortunately Mohammad Yousuf who had to return home from the UAE last month due to an injury without playing any Test against South Africa has also struggled in domestic cricket after his comeback and got two ducks in an ongoing match in Karachi.

Chief selector Mohsin Khan said the selectors had for the time being named only 14 players in the Test squad and could add one more if required for the New Zealand tour.

In another interesting decision the selectors have recalled Younis Khan to the T20 format of cricket although the senior batsman himself had decided to retire from the format last year after leading Pakistan to the World Cup title in 2009.

The selectors have also recalled left-arm pacer, Sohail Tanvir in both the squads as he has recovered well from a knee operation this year.

Three Pakistani players Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif already remain suspended by the ICC for their alleged role in spot-fixing since September 2 and the hearing of their cases is in January in Doha.


Pakistan T20 squad: Shahid Afridi (Capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Tanvir Ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz (subject to fitness).

Test squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Muhammad Hafeez, Taufiq Umar, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Tanvir Ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz (subject to fitness), Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman.