India in Pakistan, 2005-06 February 2, 2006

Faisal Iqbal returns to ODI squad

Cricinfo staff

Banking on pace: the squad includes as many as six seamers © AFP

Faisal Iqbal has been rewarded for his creditable performance in Karachi by being named in Pakistan's 16-man squad for the first three ODIs against India starting at Peshawar on February 6. Inzamam-ul-Haq returns as captain and Shoaib Malik has also been included, after missing the third Test against India at Karachi due to a family bereavement.

Notable exclusions from the Test squad include Mohammad Sami, the pace bowler and Danish Kaneria, the legspinner. The selectors have included as many as six fast bowlers, with Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat being recalled. Arafat was selected for the five-match ODI series against England preceding the India tour but didn't get a game. Among the batsmen, Imran Farhat has been recalled following his impressive half-century at Karachi.

Speaking to reporters, Faisal said: "I am thankful to the selectors for keeping faith in my abilities. I will try to justify my recall and cement my place in the one-day squad if provided with an opportunity. Having said this, it is a matter of great honour for me to remain part of a star-studded squad."

Inzamam-ul-Haq said he had fully recovered from the back injury which forced him to sit out of the Karachi Test. He said, "The recovery progress from the back injury has been excellent and I am looking forward to playing in the one-day series.Obviously, it was difficult to watch the third Test from the dressing room but I am glad that we won the game and that is all what matters and counts. I look forward to maintain that pattern in the one-day series."

Commenting on the upcoming series, he said: "The one-day matches we play this year will be our buildup for next year's World Cup. We will try as many promising players as we can and experiment with different combinations so that when the squad for the prestigious event is finalised, we have a 360-degree view of the resources we have."

The second ODI will be at Rawalpindi on February 11 and the third at Lahore on February 13.

Squad Inzamam-ul-Haq (Capt), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi,Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wk), Arshad Khan,Salman Butt, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Yasir Arafat