Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2005-06 March 10, 2006

Pakistan drop Sami for Sri Lanka tour

Cricinfo staff

Tahir Khan: called into the squad for the Sri Lanka tour © Pakistan Cricket Board

Mohammad Sami has paid the price for his recent poor form after being dropped from Pakistan's 17-man one-day squad for the Sri Lanka tour that gets underway next week.

Sami, 25, was left out of the last two Tests against India but returned for the final two one-day games last month. "We realised that [he] needs some confidence-building as he clearly lacked it," said the chief selector, Wasim Bari. "He will definitely be considered for the Test team to be announced after the one-dayers."

Sami has taken 65 wickets in 25 Tests and 109 in 76 one-day internationals, figures which experts say bely his huge potential. Another frontline paceman, Shoaib Akhtar, was earlier ruled out of the tour as he has been recuperating from surgery on both knees.

Another squad member to miss out was the veteran offspinner, Arshad Khan, who makes way for two uncapped players, the offspinning allrounder Tahir Khan and the left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman. The 25-year-old Tahir has performed well for Karachi while 26-year-old Rehman is also an outstanding fielder.

"The two newcomers are included in the one-day team," said Bari, "keeping in mind that we have to build the squad for next year's World Cup."

The Pakistani team will fly out to Sri Lanka on Sunday and play the first of three one-day matches in Colombo on March 17. The remaining two limited-overs internationals, also in Colombo, are scheduled for March 19 and 21. The first Test starts in Colombo on March 24 and the second at Kandy on April 1.

Pakistan squad Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Abdul Razzaq, Danish Kaneria, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Asif, Rao Iftikhar, Abdul Rehman, Tahir Khan, Umar Gul.