<
>

Kamran, Malik question PCB's 'non-clearance'

Kamran Akmal is under scrutiny off the field, but was in good spirits nonetheless Getty Images

Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik have questioned the PCB's decision not to 'clear' them for selection for the tour of New Zealand. Kamran, the wicketkeeper who was not in the squad announced for the Twenty20 and Test series, had received clearance for selection from the ICC after he wrote to them asking if he was under investigation.

"I am disappointed at being left out because I forwarded an email from the ICC to the PCB last month that cleared my name for selection," Kamran told AFP. "So I should know why I was excluded." Kamran had written to the ICC after they had sent him and Salman Butt notices, during Pakistan's tour of England in August, seeking information about events related to the 2010 World Twenty20 held in the Caribbean in May.

Kamran, Malik, Mohammad Yousuf and Danish Kaneria were all left out of the squad for the New Zealand tour and Pakistan chief selector Mohsin Khan said while Yousuf's exclusion was due to lack of fitness, the rest had not been cleared by the PCB.

Malik, a former captain who has not played international cricket since Pakistan's controversial tour of England in February, pointed to his track record. "I have performed well in the domestic season," he said, "and throughout my 11-year career I have never been involved in any wrongdoing and was not even in the team when all those [spot-fixing] allegations were levelled." Malik played in neither the Sydney Test nor against England at Lords - the two matches understood to be under investigation for spot-fixing by the ICC.

Pakistan channel Geo aired footage featuring alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed claiming Kamran was among seven players obeying his orders during matches. Kamran admitted Majeed was his marketing agent but denied that he had been involved in any wrongdoing.

"Majeed has been many Pakistani players' agent," he said. "He was Inzamam-ul-Haq's agent, Yousuf's agent and represented several other players including Umar Gul and Salman Butt. But I have never been involved in any wrongdoing."

Kamran was dropped from the second Test on the tour of England after making wicket-keeping mistakes and getting a pair in the first Test. He continued to struggle with his keeping on the tour and was excluded from the Twenty20, ODI and Test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates. He underwent a minor appendicitis operation before the tour but was fit when his brother Adnan Akmal was brought into the Test side after the controversial retirement of Zulqarnain Haider. He also scored 530 runs at an average of 75.71 for National Bank in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, including his maiden first-class double-century against Fasialabad.

"I am performing well at first-class level, so I still hope to play for Pakistan in the one-day series against New Zealand and then in next year's World Cup," Kamran said. Pakistan will announce a separate squad for the six ODIs to be played in New Zealand.