Pakistan to fill middle order gap October 3, 2006

Iqbal to replace Inzamam for Champions Trophy

Cricinfo staff



Faisal Iqbal: A little bit of this in a green shirt might not be a bad thing © Getty Images

Faisal Iqbal has been chosen to replace Inzamam-ul-Haq in the 14-man Pakistan squad for the Champions Trophy in India. Iqbal had been widely expected to edge out, among others, Shahid Yousuf and Asim Kamal, for a position in the middle order, made available after Inzamam was banned for four ODIs by the ICC for bringing the game into disrepute. ICC acceptance of the selection is now pending.

A PCB official confirmed to Cricinfo that "the selectors had chosen Iqbal as the replacement. We are now just awaiting ICC confirmation on this and when that happens he will go with the squad to India."

The last time Iqbal replaced Inzamam - against India in the Karachi Test earlier this year - he scored his maiden Test hundred. Coming off the back of a successful domestic season, Iqbal has since then played in all of Pakistan's six Tests. Results have been mixed; two fifties only one of which, though, was a match-saving effort at Colombo.

In limited overs cricket, his position is much less secure and if he plays in Pakistan's first ODI against a qualifier on October 17, it will be his first in nearly three years. He averages under 22 and has only one hundred to show from 17 ODIs so far. At least, with one of the finest ODI batsman of his time as an uncle - Javed Miandad - he has a greater chance than most of improving those figures.

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