Pakistan drops Kamran, Razzaq and Younis Khan from squad

Lahore: The Pakistan national selectors have shown their intent on building a new limited overs team by dropping senior players — Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq and Younis Khan — for the forthcoming one-day series in the West Indies.

Experienced pace bowler Umar Gul will also not be a part of the team for the tour as he has opted to take a break.

In a major move, the selectors have inducted a number of uncapped players in the touring side including wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman, batsman Usman Salahuddin, all-rounder Hammad Azam and fast bowler Aizaz Cheema.

Junaid Khan, the left-arm pacer, who replaced the injured Sohail Tanvir in the World Cup squad but didn`t get a chance to play any match during the tournament, has also been retained for the West Indies series, making it a total of five uncapped players in the side.

“The idea is to use this tour to try out some promising youngsters and see how they adjust to international cricket,” chief selector Mohsin Khan said.

He also said the seniors who had not been selected for the upcoming series were still very much in the scheme of things and would be in contention for the two Tests against the Windies.

He, however, confirmed that wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, who dropped a number of crucial catches during the World Cup, had been sidelined because of his struggling form.

“Kamran needs to work on his game,” he said.

Sources said that for Kamran Akmal any chance of playing international cricket was virtually over as the selectors have already decided that during the Tests in the West Indies, his younger brother Adnan Akmal would keep wickets.

The Pakistan Cricket Board had delayed the announcement of the squad by a day as according to sources there was pressure on the selectors to retain Kamran in the one-day side.

“But the selectors and even Afridi this time took a strong stand that it was time to bring in a new keeper for the one-day matches and Salman, who hails from Faisalabad and has plenty of domestic experience has been picked for the job,” one source said.

Shortly after the team returned from India after losing the World Cup semifinal, Shahid Afridi who has been retained as captain had indicated that it was time to try out some new players.

Afridi had said that the tour was ideal for grooming young players and resting some seniors.

Meanwhile, Gul said he had informed the chief selector that he wanted to spend some time with his family. “I have decided it is best to skip this tour and rest for a while,” Gul added.

The squad: Shahid Afridi (capt.), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Taufiq 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.

}