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Kamran Akmal returns for Pakistan

Umar Farooq

July 17, 2012

Comments: 349 | Text size: A | A

Kamran Akmal celebrates Cameron White's run-out, Australia v Pakistan, Group A, World Cup, Colombo, March 19, 2011
Kamran Akmal was recently cleared by the PCB's integrity committee © AFP

Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has been recalled by Pakistan for the Twenty20s against Australia in August, and September's World Twenty20. Kamran, who last played for Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup, was cleared by the PCB's integrity committee earlier this month.

Batsman Imran Nazir, who last played for Pakistan in February 2010, and allrounder Abdul Razzaq have also made the squad for both tournaments. None of these three players has a central contract.

"Each player in the side has a role and has been selected accordingly," Iqbal Qasim, Pakistan's chief selector, told ESPNcricinfo. "Razzaq and Imran are utility players and can make a difference. Imran is a good fielder, while Razzaq can also be useful as a seamer on Sri Lankan pitches [during the World T20] and can score some quick runs."

Mohammad Hafeez, who was named Pakistan's Twenty20 captain ahead of the just-concluded Sri Lanka tour, will continue to lead. According to the PCB release that announced the squad, Hafeez has been named captain 'till the end of 2012'.

Squad for Australia T20s, World T20

  • Mohammad Hafeez (capt), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wk), Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir
  • In: Kamran Akmal, Imran Nazir, Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Nasir Jamshed
  • Out: Khalid Latif, Ahmed Shahzad, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail, Shakeel Ansar

Asad Shafiq has been picked following his solid Test series in Sri Lanka, during which he scored two half-centuries and a hundred in five innings. He has scored 192 runs in 10 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan.

Opener Nasir Jamshed is also back, after recovering from a fracture of the index finger that ruled him out of the Sri Lanka tour. He is one of four openers in the squad, along with Nazir, Kamran and Hafeez.

Speaking after the news of his selection broke, Jamshed said was looking forward to the competition among the openers. "Winning back the opportunity [to play for Pakistan] is always hard, and I am glad to have [my place] back. I have recovered [from the injury] and am sensing tough competition for the opening slot. But being a left-hander, it differentiates me from the other [three]."

The players to miss out from the Twenty20 squad that played in Sri Lanka are Khalid Latif, Ahmed Shahzad, Hammad Azam, Haris Sohail and wicketkeeper Shakeel Ansar.

There are no changes on the bowling front, with Saeed Ajmal and 20-year-old Raza Hasan being the specialist spinners, and Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Sami the quicks.

"Raza, though young, isn't a new name," Qasim said. "He has been performing and [taking into account] the need for a left-arm spinner, he is the best [option] at the moment.

"Sami, along with Gul, is our strike bowler. They may not be in form, but with ample experience under their belt they can bounce back and play their role."


Youth put on hold

The message from Pakistan's selectors in picking their squad for the Australia series and the World Twenty20 seems to be a green signal for tried and tested hands and an amber light for promising youth. The most bizarre omission is that of Junaid Khan, who, in his brief career, has made a name for himself in Tests and has been making strides in limited-overs cricket as well. He's been passed over for Mohammad Sami but, given Sami's inconsistency, could have been a more effective complement to Umar Gul. Junaid, still in his second year of international cricket, bounced back from a heel injury to pick up 14 wickets - including two five-fors - in the recent Tests against Sri Lanka.

Also to suffer is the highly-rated allrounder Hammad Azam, who has lost out to Abdul Razzaq. Azam seemed to have answered the selectors' call for a new allrounder in 2010, when he was picked in the national squad for the World T20, but his growth has been hampered by inconsistent selection. Razzaq's last appearance for Pakistan was in November 2011, after which he was overlooked on grounds of form and fitness. He was not handed a central contract recently, so his recall raises more questions over the selectors' rationale.

And Ahmed Shahzad, 20, appeared to be in the selectors' Twenty20 plans before the Sri Lanka tour but has now lost his place to Imran Nazir - who will be making his fourth T20 comeback for Pakistan since 2007. Nazir was last recalled in 2010, for the series against England in the UAE, but was sent back to the fringes after scoring 2 and 4.
Umar Farooq

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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Comments: 349 
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Posted by atlas on (July 20, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

I just wanna know what this boy hamad azam did in his entire career.from just one good inngs in un19 cup 97 not out how can u select a boy permanent in the team this is ridiculous where all people just saying he should b in the team.plz for God sack grow up yar the guy made his first-class debut in 2008 still he just have one 100 and just get 20 wickets in 22 fc matches.He is a avg player who have just one good inngs it ud19 level.his fc and A class avg is just 32 something plz don't say something blindly.just search a good allrounder.m so happy to see him out of the squad.

Posted by Abdul on (July 20, 2012, 11:24 GMT)

MY 15 WOULD BE Kamran Akmal, imran nazir, mohammad hafeez, ahmed shehzad, nasir jamshed, umer akmal, shahid afridi, abdul razzaq, junaid khan, sami, gul, sohail tanvir, raza hassan, saeed ajmal, yasir arafat...16 player would be hammad azam.. no space for perchi players like shoib malik and khalid latif..

Posted by Cricket on (July 20, 2012, 9:05 GMT)

The trend all over the world is to introduced fresh blood , younsters in the shortest format of the game so that the future can be built. Pakistan is going the opposit way by continuesly recycling old failures. This way Pakistan is going no where, Sami, Gul, Kamran, S.Malik have passed their sell-by-date. This is a very bad gamble. apart from their bad performances Kamran is the Worst ever wicket keeper in the world and U.Gul is the worst ever fielder in the world. Both of them have been dropping such dollies that one can easily doubt their charecter.

Posted by Cricket on (July 20, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Wasim Bari & Rashid Latif were the best keepers that Pakistan has produced. Kamran Akmal along with Moin Khan are the worst wicket keepers that Pak has ever produced. Now that Kamran is back Pakistani bowlers will not get sufficient wickets and pakiistan will loose badly, because in any case the Pakistani batting has always been below par. It was always the Pakistani bowling that used to bail them out, but now with this rubbish attack backed by such a horrible keeper Pakistan will be eliminated in the ealiest rounds. U.Gul, M.Sami, S.Mallik & K.Akmal should not have been in the team. J.Khan, Rahat Ali, Sadaf Hussain, M.Talha & Hammad Azam shoud have been in the team.

Posted by Cricket on (July 20, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

I am surprised that some People here think that Kamran Akmal is the best Keeper batsman of Pak. THE FACT IS THAT KAMRAN along with Moin Khan IS THE WORST KEEPER PAK HAS EVER PRODUCED. Kamran has dropped too many catches, most of them dolies. As far as his batting is concerned it fires only against weeker opponents. His batting does not fire when it matters. Look at the England series & Australi series of 2010 and the WC 2011. He was a desaster. Because of him Pakistan has lost too many matches. Unfortunately in cricket there are no records of dropped catches and stumpings & Pakistan fans have very week memories. Some Pakistani fans go according to media propoganda. THIS IS THE WORST POSSSIBLE TEAM THAT PAK COULD PRODUCE. Why are Sami, U.Gul, Kamran & S.Mallik getting unlimited Opportunites ? Why is the Youth being put on hold for so long ? How will Pak prepare for the future with these repeated failures ?

Posted by Bilal on (July 20, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

why they had to rush in picking squad for worldT20. they could have announced squad for Aus series and on the basis of performance in that series finalize world T20, as going by the history of Pak selections, there is bound to be second thoughts after Aus series.

Posted by boom on (July 20, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz can u guys stop complaining about selection god damm selection is all ready have bean done so rather complaining wish good luck to the team . i can bet that no other team can beat Pakistan accept west indies only they have better hitter like us so and same boiling attack.

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 19, 2012, 21:47 GMT)

1. M.Hafeez 2. Imran Nazir 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Asad Shafiq 5. Umer Akmal 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzaq 9. Sohail Tanvir 10. Umer Gul 11. Saeed Ajmal.

Posted by ahmed on (July 19, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

Its Good Selection but i did not want Mohammad sami to be in the team and i wanted Ahmed Shehzad and Junaid Khan in the team

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 19, 2012, 19:52 GMT)

I guess this is the best 15 member squad available.Kamran Akmal is the best wicket keeper batsman ever produced by Pakistan.Although Nasir jamshed has performed well in domestic cricket,but In my point of view his selection is not justifiable.Having Imran Nazir,Kamran,Hafeez in squad leaves no option for another opening batsman.Including Nasir/Mailik,Asad shafeeq in final playing X1 would be waste of Afridi,Razzak,Umer Akmal,they will have to bat lower down the order. Nasir,Mailik,Asad shafeeq should not have been in squad.Ahmed Shezad,Hamad Azam were better options for 15 member squad in place of Nasir/Mailik,Asad shafeeq.As far as bowling department is concerned,Pakistan have the two World Class Spinners Ajmal,Afridi+Hafeez(Remeber T20 WorldCup is in Sri Lanka,Spinning tracks to be expected).Pakistan will be playing with 2 pacers(Gul,Sami),they are the best options available at the moment.

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