Champions Trophy 2017 April 25, 2017

Pakistan recall Azhar, Umar Akmal


Former captain Azhar Ali was recalled into Pakistan's 15-member squad © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on May 22, 2017, 17:55 GMT

    Pakistan CT 2017 XI against India: Azhar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez. Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan

  • bilald0387410 on May 5, 2017, 16:08 GMT

    Cricfan83650523 - Waqar Younis is a much better commentater than ramiz raja, as he talks whats true while mr. Raja just keeps on praising the pakistan team even when they are playing 70s cricket. We need a change, someone has to criticize. Pakistan should thrash umar akmal, ahemd shahzad and wahab riaz, all are null players with no cricket sense, aamir yamin is much better than that old batterd riaz. Akmal doesnot know how to play while shahzad copies kohli in appearance and style but cant he copy his consistency, skill and Attitude !!?!?

  • Nitish on April 29, 2017, 1:55 GMT

    Where is Haris Sohail?? I watched him in WorldCup15 and looked composed with good skill sets. He was 26 then. Should have been groomed in Pakistan squad. I am an Indian btw but liked his batting. Also drop Azhar, Akmal bros if they have better players. Pakistan have selected squad as if its Test. Its white ball game. No exaggerated swing.

  • wqs84y4552283 on April 28, 2017, 11:47 GMT

    umer akmal 3 matches 135 runs, umer Ameen 3 matches 290,akmal in Ameen out,

  • Abdul on April 27, 2017, 10:20 GMT

    What does Aamer Yamin has to do to get a chance to play for Pakistan.. wasting talent... selecting youngster and not allowing them to play a single match against the weak option is does not support the confident for future cricketer....

  • SYED on April 27, 2017, 9:15 GMT

    What different Ahmed Shehzad must do to get out of the team. Selectors please Explain??

  • imran on April 27, 2017, 8:58 GMT

    Team for CT: 1- Shahazad/Hafeez 2- Fakhar Zaman 3- Babar Azam 4- Umar Akmal 5- Shoaib Malik 6- Sarfaraz 7- Shadab 8- Imad 9- Aamir 10- Hassan 11- Junaid

  • baigat0480030 on April 27, 2017, 8:15 GMT

    Can't understand why any of the Akmal brother always secure position in the squad. Whats wrong with the Asif Zakir and other who are performing well and have better technique as well. Where is Sohail Khan who is the consistent in getting wickets.. Any reason for inducting Fahim Ashraf. Pakistan desperately needs guys who have better strike rate...Already given enough chances to Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shahzed, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz (the fired bullets)... Selection of 03 left arm pacers is also questionable... couldn't expect such from Inzi....

  • khurra4163103 on April 27, 2017, 7:32 GMT

    Unable to understand on what basis Azhar Ali has been included. He was dropped for his slow batting and putting pressure on other end and since then he didn't play any limited over match even was not given chance in PSL for the same reason. and he miraculously selected in ODI team. His solid technique of consuming balls and securing one end always put pressure on the other end and you won't see effective partnership while he is playing unless type of Sharjeel is on other end. That is the reason when he scores others can't perform very well and when he gets out cheaply and consumes less number of balls other batsmen adjust their game accordingly. I would like to hear who was the moron forced selectors to such pathetic decision.

  • rjdn.b8489438 on April 27, 2017, 6:13 GMT

    What's the point. We are going to lose all our matches like last time. India is going to thrash us.

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