Shoaib Akhtar named in 16-man ODI squad
Shoaib Akhtar has been named in the Pakistan's 16-man squad for the five-match ODI series against India.
Shoaib has also been called up for the series-decider against South Africa in Lahore on October 29, having served the 13-match ban imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The fast bowler was punished by the board for his spat with Mohammad Asif ahead of the ICC World Twenty20. Shoaib was sent home following the incident.
The team, led by Shoaib Malik, also includes Fawad Alam, who played his first and only ODI so far against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
"We have chosen a 16-man squad which will be led by Shoaib Malik and Akhtar was included in the squad after he proved his fitness and completed his ban," Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector, told AFP. "We know that Akhtar, if fit and in form, is an asset for the team and we hope that he does well in the series against India." Injuries, testing positive to banned substances, and controversies with team-mates have kept Shoaib out of international cricket for most of the previous season. His last ODI was in England in 2006.
No vice-captain has been named for the team, with Salman Butt, Malik's deputy in the series against South Africa, failing to find a place in the playing XI. In fact he didn't feature in any of the ODIs against South Africa. Ahmed said a vice-captain would be named before the team leaves for India.
Mohammad Hafeez, who had been dropped mid-way through the ODIs against South Africa, and Khalid Latif, his replacement for the third ODI, also miss out.
Pakistan ODI squad Shoaib Malik (capt), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal (wk), Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Imran Nazir, Fawad Alam, Abdur Rehman, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Iftikhar Anjum.