Pakistan team for Bangladesh Tour

Published: March 5, 2009

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AP, Lahore
Pakistan has named three rookie players in a 16-man squad while leaving out veteran paceman Shoaib Akhtar for this month’s five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games against Bangladesh.Opening batsman Ahmed Shahzad, leg-spinner Yasir Shah and paceman Mohammad Amir were the uncapped players named in the squad Wednesday.

Akhtar was dropped from the third ODI against Sri Lanka at Lahore in January after he struggled for fitness and form in the first two games. He was not named among nine reserve players for the Bangladesh tour.

“There are question marks on the fitness of Shoaib Akhtar for a long time now,” chief selector Abdul Qadir told reporters.

The chief selector said he asked Akhtar to play in the last domestic first class match last month, “but somehow he didn’t play in the match to prove his fitness.”

Qadir said Akhtar initially planned surgery to repair floating bones in a knee, but later changed his mind.

“He told me that now he didn’t require operation on his knee, but the main thing is he can only comeback to international cricket if he proves his fitness by playing in domestic matches.”

Pakistan, which saw the second test against Sri Lanka abandoned on Tuesday after a deadly terrorist attack on the visiting team’s bus and security support, will leave for Bangladesh on March 7 where the first Twenty20 game will be played on March 10. The tour ends on Mar. 22 with the fifth one-dayer.

The selectors also recalled all-rounder Shahid Afridi after ignoring him for the two tests against Sri Lanka while Sarfraz Ahmed was named as a backup wicketkeeper for regular Kamran Akmal.

Opening batsman Nasir Jamshed, who last played in the Asia Cup in Pakistan last year, was also recalled.

Middle-order batsman Yasir Hameed was among the nine reserves named for the tour.

Squad: Younis Khan (captain), Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Fawad Alam, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Arafat, Yasir Shah, Rao Iftikhar, Sarfraz Ahmed.

Reserves: Wahab Riaz, Abdur Rauf, Saeed bin Nasir, Azhar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Amin, Yasir Hameed, Umar Akmal, Azeem Ghumman.

Fixtures:

March 7 – Departure from Karachi

March 10 – Ist Twenty20 in Dhaka

March 12 – Second Twenty20 in Dhaka

March 13 – Ist ODI in Dhaka

March 15 – Second ODI in Dhaka

March 17 – Third ODI in Dhaka

March 20 – Fourth ODI in Chittagong

March 22 – Fifth ODI in Chittagong


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