Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan chief selector, has dropped Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad on disciplinary grounds from the training camp ahead of the team's tour of England. The selection committee has also ignored Shahid Afridi and decided to move on to younger players.
The trio had been a major point of contention in the former coach Waqar Younis' scathing report after Pakistan's exit from the World T20. Waqar had suggested that both Akmal and Shehzad be dropped from the side and made to re-earn selection through their domestic performances. He had also lambasted Afridi's leadership style, which he felt left the players confused, and said his own performances did not merit a place in the side.
"First of all selection committee is totally independent," Inzamam said at a press conference at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium. "Board can guide us but even then selection committee will take its own decisions. I have seen the previous reports of coach and selection committee and have also talked to other stakeholders of the team.
"So the selection committee has decided that if there's a problem of discipline we have to take a step so it's more on discipline grounds than performance. If we see any problem in discipline this selection committee will take tough decisions."
Afridi stepped down from captaincy after the World T20 but decided not to retire from T20 internationals after the World T20. Inzamam said the selectors had ignored Afridi because of Pakistan's lack of T20 matches over the coming year.
"This year we have only four T20s and over the next 14 months we have to play only six T20s and I think we should give chance to new players in these six matches. Shahid will get some rest and when he comes after giving [domestic] performance he will definitely be considered."
Inzamam named 35 probables for a boot camp that will be held at the Kakul Military Academy in Abbottabad from May 14 to June 4 to prepare for the tour of England that includes four Tests, five ODIs and a T20I. He also named 25 probables for Pakistan A's tour of England scheduled from June 23 to July 25. A few players, including Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim and Rahat Ali, were included in the camp subject to proving their fitness.
"The reports I am getting is that there are some players whose fitness is not good or they are not able to run - that included players like Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim and Rahat Ali," Inzamam said. "I want to see the fitness of players myself and thereafter we will decide."
The selection committee also laid out a policy of only picking players aged 30 or less in the A team. The rule has quashed the Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq's intention of touring England with the A team ahead of the senior team's tour, since he has only recently recovered from a calf strain. The first Test begins on July 14, and will be Pakistan's first five-day game since the third Test against England in Sharjah in November 2015.
"We have a policy that nobody above 30 will be selected for Pakistan A," Inzamam said. "If he has a good performance in first-class cricket and we think he is a good player we will send him to Pakistan camp so that he can play for Pakistan. The whole selection committee thinks that young players who have done well in first-class cricket should be promoted. We won't consider players who have gone on more than four-five Pakistan A tours. We will be tough on discipline."
Nepotism has been a major talking point in Pakistan cricket recently, and Inzamam said he would not give any room for it when the topic of his nephew Imam-ul-Haq came up. Imam recently came into the Islamabad side - filling in for Misbah, who had left the team for a pilgrimage to Mecca - and scored a century in his first game in the Pakistan Cup. Imam did not find a place either in the Pakistan training camp or among the Pakistan A probables.
"I am not going to give any favour and will also not do any injustice," Inzamam said. "I've seen his [Imam-ul-Haq] first-class record, he hasn't scored many runs in this season and I have not selected him. That should be the way. We have given a pool of 60 players, we are going to see the fitness level of these players. Other players could also be considered if they give good performances."
On the possible reintegration of Salman Butt in the national set up, Inzamam said the opening batsman had not played enough cricket since returning from his spot-fixing ban to make a case for selection.
"Salman is a very good player but he hasn't played four-day games as yet," Inzamam said. "He has just played a one-day tournament after coming back after five and half years. I think he should play one season of four-day matches so that he can make a comeback in a better way."
Probables for Pakistan's training camp: Mohammad Hafeez (subject to fitness), Sami Aslam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail (subject to fitness), Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Asif Zakir, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Adnan Akmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Bbaar, Mohammad Asghar, Imad Wasim (subject to finess), Bilal Asif, Zohaib Khan.
Probables for Pakistan A tour of England: Fakhar Zaman, Jihad Ali, Mohammad Waqas, Zain Abbas, Israrullah, Umar Amin (subject to fitness), Abdul Rehman Muzammil, Saud Shakil, Abid Ali, Umar Siddique, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Amir Yamin, Mohammad Abbas, Azizullah, Mir Hamza, Ahmed Jamal, Imad Butt, Ziaul Haq, Saifullah Bangash, Mohammad Hasan, Usama Mir, Shadab Khan, Hidayatullah, Zafar Gohar.