World Cup 2015 December 6, 2014

Ajmal, Malik in Pakistan's preliminary WC squad


Saeed Ajmal could catch the World Cup bus if he gets his action cleared © AFP

The suspended Saeed Ajmal has been included in Pakistan's 30-member provisional squad for the World Cup. However, his inclusion in the final 15 will be subject to him clearing his bowling action. The PCB is yet to plan a date for his official ICC bowling assessment.

The list also includes allrounder Shoaib Malik and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, both of whom have been out of the ODI side for the last 18 months, since featuring in the 2013 Champions Trophy. Kamran has been averaging 59.08 in the current first-class season and is third most-prolific scorer after nine rounds, while Malik's form has fluctuated; he has scored 385 runs in seven matches and picked up 18 wickets for his new team ZTBL.

"At the moment, winning or losing aside, team Pakistan is performing adequately well in all three formats of the game," Moin Khan, the chief selector, said in a statement. "The belief in the think tank is that the squad holds immense potential and promise to perform in any conditions. The most positive aspect is that some of our foremost proven talents have overcome physical issues and are raring to be given an opportunity to have a tilt at the global honours."

"In our assessment, by the time the five 50-over games in the UAE, the away short ODI series against New Zealand as well as the practice games are over in the next two months, Pakistan will be close to hitting its peak."

The fast-bowling group - Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul, who have been grappling with injury issues in the recent past - are expected to be automatic choices for the final 15.

"For me personally, the 1992 World Cup victory ranks amongst our greatest cricketing achievements," said Moin, who was also the part of the winning XI when Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup in Australia. "I am positive that the present outfit too has the capacity to replicate that triumph Down Under."

The final squad will be decided during the domestic one-day pentangular cup in Karachi in the first week of January. Pakistan are scheduled to play their opening World Cup match in Adelaide on February 15, against arch-rivals India.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2014, 2:29 GMT

    I would like to see the following 15 for the world cup would be as follows :

    1. Mohammad Hafeez 2. Ahmed Shehzad 3. Misbah-ul-Haq 4. Younis Khan 5. Azhar Ali 6. Umar Akmal 7. Haris Sohail, 8. Shoaib Malik 9. Shahid Afridi 10. Kamran Akmal 11. Mohammad Irfan 12. Wahab Riaz or Sohail Tanvir 13. Junaid Khan 14. Umar Gul, 15. Saeed Ajmal

    All the best team Pakistan for the world cup

  • Android on December 8, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    pak 15 wc squad 1-a shezad 2-m hafiz 3-u akmal 4-y khan 5-misbah 6-s maqsood 7-s ahemad 8-s afridi 9-s malik 10-u gul 11-w riyaz 12-j khan 13-m irfan 14-s ajmal 15-z babar/r hasan

  • Dummy4 on December 7, 2014, 21:57 GMT

    Pak-15 for WC: Openers: Shehzad, Hafeez Middle: Umar Akmal, Misbah, Sohaib Maqsood, Younis, Shafiq Wktkeeper: Sarfraz Allrounder: Afridi Spin: Ajmal, Babar Pace: Irfan, Junaid, Gul, Wahab

    6 Automatic selections in playing eleven: Shehzad, Sarfraz, Misbah, Irfan, Junaid, Gul. All other slots are up for grabs.

    Near Misses: Raza Hasan (4th spinner not needed on Aussie piches) Nasir Jamshed (with Sarfraz opening, its tough to see him in the squad)

  • ESPN on December 7, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    Malik gul and Sohail tanvir have a strong chance of making the final 15 as they have played in the BBL and have the knowledge of various grounds. Players like sharjeel khan kamran akmal are good enough to make the cut as one is leg side player and the other has past his sell by date. Hafeez if doesn't get his bowling action cleared is not good enough to make it only as a batsman so in the upcoming ODIs Pakistan should give chance to nasir Jamshed. Asad shafiq is another one that I don't think should be included in the final 15. The upcoming ODIs should be used as if Pakistan are actually playing in the WC and select the players that the selectors believe could make the final 15 instead of using players who are just a burden on the team need to make some tough decisions now rather then later by now every player should know its role that he is going to play in the WC no good for giving a player one game and then make him warm the bench

  • Dummy on December 7, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    I think pak should add 2 bowlers with speed of above 140kmph othervise they cant survive in this wc...

  • Android on December 7, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    I would like to see the following 15 for the world cup would be as follows: Hafeez, Shehzad, Misbah, Younis, A.Shafiq, Maqsood, Fawad, U.Akmal, Afridi, Sarfaraz, Irfan, Wahab, Junaid, Gul, Ajmal. I would have loved to see Razzak in there, but this is the team we have available now. All the best team Pakistan for the world cup :)

  • Android on December 6, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    fawad alam style of batting is not solid as compair to the other great cricketer we need only that players who runs continuesly

  • asad on December 6, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    The squad have been way better. I think Sharjeel, Malik, Afridi, Kamran, Talha and Tanvir could be dropped. I would bring in Hammad Azam (for Malik), Saad Nasim (for Afridi), Mohammad Rizwan (for Kamran), Sadaf Hussain for Talha and Rahat Ali for Tanvir (Rahat had a good test series). I'm not sure who would replace Sharjeel. Maybe Sami's partner Imam-ul-haq or maybe Babar Azam. Azhar Ali is also a questionable selection but he has done pretty well in tests and I'm not sure who could replace him when all quality middle order Pak batsmen are already selected.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    Pak needs to use this batting line up from the current ODI onwards.. in the same order. "Sarfaraz , Shezad, Afridi, Younis, Hafeez, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Gul, Ifran, Wahab, Yasir. This gives them right amount of attacking as well as consolidating the innings till 50 overs chance. Younis and Hafeez to play in middle overs like 15-40 and then it can end with nice slog from akmal and careful batting from Misbah. Misbah will emerge good if he plays after 40 overs. He will feel responsibility to hold the innings till 50 with tailenders and can also hit ball out of ground at will. in bowling use Hafeez and Irfan as starters. then bring Afriidi and Wahab and atlast bring Yasir and Gul. no need to add more bowlers. If needed Umar and Hafeez plays can be swaped. If ajmal returns, then he can be used in the place of yasir and Maqsood in the place of Afridi.

  • ESPN on December 6, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    The squad is fine and I suppose best. If they had to include more young players than they should have given the opportunity to play against australia and new zealand. But this is fine but no point of adding kamran, shoaib malik, azhar ali, and even few more crappy players like sharjeel khan. He is the biggest flop. Sarfraz should open with ahmed shehzad and this should continue from this series against new zealand. Fawad alam at #3, umar akmal #4, misbah at 5, hafeez at 6 and afridi 7. Bowlers should be: Irfan Junaid Gul/wahab/bhatti Yasir shah/saeed ajmal/ babar

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