Kamran Akmal makes World T20 provisional squad
Kamran Akmal, the Pakistan wicketkeeper, has been named in the country's provisional 30-man squad for September's World Twenty20 after being cleared by the PCB's integrity committee. Batsman Imran Nazir, who last played for Pakistan in February 2010, and allrounder Abdul Razzaq have also made the squad. None of the three players has a central contract.
"We have tried lots of wicketkeeper batsmen after Kamran, but nothing was panning out," Iqbal Qasim, Pakistan's chief selector, told ESPNcricinfo. "We need a solid wicketkeeper who can score quick runs and currently Kamran is the only option for us. He has kept himself fully fit and more importantly he has been cleared by the PCB."
"Imran is a good fielder and a dominating batsman, and so far he has been doing reasonably well in domestic cricket, while Razzaq is a utility player. But it [the final squad] all depends on the coach and captain's plans."
Kamran had last played for Pakistan at the 2011 World Cup, but has been active on the domestic circuit and had played the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) earlier this year.
Kamran had come under the scanner when he was sent a notice by the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit after the Nottingham Test against England in July 2010, seeking information about events related to the 2010 World Twenty20 held in the Caribbean. He later claimed he has an ICC clearance letter that says there is no inquiry pending against him.
Razzaq has not played for Pakistan since injuring his shoulder in the ODI series against Sri Lanka in the UAE in November. He was cut from the contracts list for 2012, and had criticised the selectors' decision to keep him from the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka. Razzaq has remained active in domestic Twenty20, though, playing Australia's Big Bash League in December-January and the BPL that followed. He is currently in England, where he is playing limited-overs cricket for Leicestershire.
Nazir has impressed in domestic Twenty20 this year. He had finished as the second-highest run-getter in Pakistan's Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup, scoring 191 at 47.75 with a strike-rate of 172 for Sialkot Stallions. He was also second on the run charts in the BPL, with 390 runs for Dhaka Gladiators, at an average of 43.33 and a strike-rate of 156.
Squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed, Imran Nazir, Shahzaib Hasan, Awais Zia, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Rameez Raja, Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Arafat, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Anwar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Raza Hasan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Shakeel Ansar
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent