Pakistan in West Indies, 2011 April 6, 2011

Razzaq, Kamran axed for West Indies ODIs and T20s

ESPNcricinfo staff

Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal have been axed from Pakistan's combined ODI and Twenty20 squad for the upcoming tour of West Indies, while senior players Umar Gul and Younis Khan have been rested. Shahid Afridi remains in charge of a team that will feature a new wicketkeeper, Mohammad Salman.

The Test squad will be named at a later date and it is expected that Gul and Younis - the former had asked selectors for a rest from the limited overs portion of the tour - will return.

Kamran's wicketkeeping has been a source of concern for some time now, though various selectors have persisted with him in the belief that his batting provides the side with flexibility. But a poor World Cup campaign, with bat and gloves - the low hit in the game against New Zealand where he dropped centurion Ross Taylor three times, including twice early on, as well as fluffs in games against Sri Lanka and the semi-final with India - have finally proved too much. Coach Waqar Younis had hinted that it was time for a new wicketkeeper to be blooded, and Salman got the nod.

With 103 first-class games to his name, the Karachi-born Salman, 29, has been on the fringes of selection for a while. A few years ago he was thought by many to be the best wicketkeeper in the land though in recent times, he had been overlooked behind Sarfraz Ahmed, Zulqarnain Haider and Adnan Akmal.

"He is the best of the lot," Rashid Latif, former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper, told ESPNcricinfo. Salman was Latif's deputy at Allied Bank Limited (ABL) in 2000 and worked with him later as well. "He came into ABL as my deputy wicket keeper and I worked with him then. After that we both joined Port Qasim Authority team in 2006, me as coach and Salman as a main wicketkeeper. He is an athletic man and a good batsman too for all formats."

Though the Test squad has not yet been announced, it is likely Kamran's younger brother Adnan will retain his spot in the side as the wicketkeeper.

Pakistan have also embarked on a search for a new allrounder, with the highly-rated Hammad Azam drafted in to replace Razzaq. The veteran Razzaq had a strange World Cup, playing all matches but almost as a spare part in the XI, taking only five wickets and making 104 runs.

He did not complete his quota of 10 overs even once, and managed only a single half-century, though he usually batted as low as number eight. He was often given the new ball, but taken off after short opening spells to make way for Gul and the spinners. After the first couple of games, he had expressed a desire to play a larger part in Pakistan's World Cup campaign, but continued to play a peripheral role.

Azam was a central figure in Pakistan's last U-19 World Cup campaign and was selected in the squad for the World T20 in the Caribbean last year, but he did not feature in a single game.

"At the moment there's no place for Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal in the team," chief selector Mohsin Khan told reporters. "We want to try out few youngsters and that's why we have picked those players who have performed outstandingly in the domestic circuit."

Left-hand opening batsman Taufeeq Umar, who recently worked his way back into the Test side, is another surprise inclusion for the shorter formats. Aizaz Cheema, the 31-year-old seamer who plays for Punjab, has also received a call-up to replace Gul. Cheema has 221 wickets from 62 first-class matches, and will tussle for the new ball with Wahab Riaz, Tanvir Ahmed and Junaid Khan. Usman Salahuddin, another youngster who made an impression at the Under-19 level, also got the selector's nod for the tour. Salahuddin scored 927 runs in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy last year and will fight for a middle-order spot.

The tour kicks off with a warm-up game from April 18, while the only Twenty20 will be played on April 21 in St Lucia. The five-match ODI series will begin on April 23, and the Test leg of the tour will commence on May 12.

Squad: Shahid Afridi (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Taufeeq Umar, Usman Salahuddin, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam, Aizaz Cheema and Mohammad Salman (wk)

Reserves: Rameez Raja (jnr), Sadaf Hussain, Asif Zakir, Sohail Khan, Zulifqar Babar

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zain on April 9, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    anwar ali should be their instead of tanveer. Razzak should bat at 3 or opener. He could also bowl ALL his overs. And where is safraz ahmed. By stats and age he is the best choice. Not having fawad alam is understandable but atleast have him in test. And if misbah lost the game for pakistan and still included him why not imran nazir my 11 is

    Imran nazir, haffeez, razzak, misbah, umar, azam, afridi (he's a bowler now not allrounder, focus on your batting haffeez and ajmal can handle the spin), whab, sadaf, junaid, ajmal

    wahab and razzak bring experience when gul goes get's better replace junaid or sadaf

    razzak misbah and umar would be a better combo cause instead of having small over with younis razzak and umar could speed him up and tell him to start hitting. nazir and haffeez can hit big scores. And if either of them don't work out thier plenty of others to replace them. Misbah's only got a year left on him. Use this year to bring some young guy who can provide his clalm

  • Dummy4 on April 9, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    I red lot's of comments. But I think the selection commite of PCB has done a good job. Unfortunately M.Amir is not there. I'm requesting to the PCB please try to take Amir in the SQUAD before he break his GOOD FORM. Most of batsmen unlikely to FACE our WORLD EXPRESS M.Amir.

  • Farooq on April 9, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Kamran AKmal will return in next tournament as people and media are criticizing him for his performance against INDIA and NEW ZEALAND .... They have chosen Muhmmad Salman whose currently at 9th among Top 10 WK of Pakistan ..... They want to show that Akmal is better than Salman .........

  • harris on April 8, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    why is hafeez there, i cannot forgive him for that shot he played in semi final. for many years he has been the same, gets a quick thirty thinks hes done his job and then throws his wicket away. please ged rid of him pcb i dont wana see players make same mistake over and over again. also get rid of misbah, taufeeq, kamran, tanvir ahmed, in that squad. afridi only just deserves his spot becoz of his bowling. tactically he is not switch on to be captain eg trying to hit a six in semi without taking power play, it brainless cricket.

  • A on April 8, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    Not only is the nation relieved to see KAMRAN AKMAL finally dropped....most of us are also relieved to see both the IMRANS (FARHAT AS WELL AS NAZIR) not selected for the tour. Taufiq Umar is a good inclusion whereas its mind boggling to see Misbah still in the side. All the best to Hammad Azam who has some huge shoes of Razzaq to may take some time to groom our all-rounders, and I think this is the perfect time to begin doing so. Finally looks like the PCB is acting in not only a RATIONAL, but also an extremely SENSIBLE manner.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    I still think that Ahmad Shezad should be replaced with Imran Nazir he is far better player than him. Secondly instead of Misbah they could have easily invited Sohail Tanvir for a come back.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Thanks a lot to selectors who made good decision to replace Kamran Akmal,this decision should be taken early but still good to take it.I think Imran Nazir should be selected he is one of the best t20 and Odi player.Best of luck Shahid Afridi,you are the real hero for Pakistan and I hope that with these youngsters you have the best chance to overcome pakistani cricket form crises.Please Shahid Bai i want to see you in Bating action.

  • albert on April 8, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Selection commitee are not dooing too much to bring in young scord.It was time for them to take bold decision on Mibaulhaq who scores many runsafter match is lost.Remember he scored many runs in 2007 T20 final against India & lost the match,also he scored many runs against India in semis & lost match.He has no clue when to start hitting ball.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Where is Shoib Malik ? He deserves a comeback.

  • karthik on April 8, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Someone said we dont have large hearts as they do...yes, we dont have large heart to drop 4 catches of Sachin...and they have large heart to lose 5 matches to India in worldcups...

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