July 31, 2001

Wasim Akram dropped from training squad as Pakistan look to the future

Bloomberg

Former captain Wasim Akram was omitted from Pakistan's 26-man cricket training squad ahead of the Asian Test Championship, said Pakistan chairman of selectors Wasim Bari.

Leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed, a member of this year's tour party to England, also was left out. Bari said selectors want to field younger players in the opening match of the championship against India starting Aug. 30 in Multan, Pakistan.

"The first match is at home and we wanted to start a rebuilding process," Bari said in an interview. "It's no indication that Akram's career is over - this squad is for a training camp not the Tests, but we are looking to the future."

Akram, 35, has played 102 Tests and is Test cricket's fourth highest wicket-taker with 414 wickets. A left-arm fast bowler, he is currently playing for Lashings Cricket Club in England. Akram said he will fly to Pakistan tonight to ask about his future.

"It's disappointing but I will keep going as I just want to do my best for my country," he said. "I badly want to pass Kapil Dev's (wicket's total of) 434 so I still want to carry on playing."

Mushtaq's place in the squad goes to Danish Kaneria, who made his Test debut against England in November, Raja said.

There was no recall for former captain Moin Khan, while fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, also playing for Lashings, was included for the camp running from Aug. 6-29.

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