Pakistan recall Azhar, Umar Akmal
Umar Akmal and Azhar Ali have been recalled by Pakistan for the squad that will travel for the Champions Trophy in England. This after the pair were dropped following Pakistan's 4-1 defeat in the ODI series in Australia in January, and did not feature in the limited-overs series against West Indies earlier this month.
The development marks a tumultuous three months for Azhar, who was captain of that side in Australia, before being stripped of the leadership role and omitted from the ODI squad altogether. Now he will take his place in a squad led by former vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Kamran Akmal, who was the leading run-scorer and declared Man-of-the-Tournament during the Pakistan Super League, has once again been dropped. He had been called up to the limited-overs side that toured the West Indies and played all games in the shorter formats, scoring 90 runs in four T20I innings, and 68 in the three ODIs.
It was a disappointing return for a man riding a wave of form from the PSL, but his failure to convert that into international runs has seen him pay the price. In addition, his discomfiture in the outfield, having played most of his career as a wicketkeeper, was evident, and two dropped catches - including a very easy chance - couldn't have helped his cause.
Fahim Ashraf, 23 is the only player in the 15-man squad yet to put on an international shirt in any format. He was part of the ODI squad for the three-match series against the West Indies, but did not make the final XI. Fakhar Zaman is also yet to make his ODI debut, although he did play three of the four T20s against West Indies earlier this month.
Pakistan are placed in Group B of the Champions Trophy, and begin their campaign against current holders India on June 4, before taking on South Africa and Sri Lanka on June 7 and June 12, respectively. The top two sides from each group will qualify for the semi-final stage.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000