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Kamran, Razzaq dropped

Posted by on April 7, 2011 0 Comment

Pakistan have left Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Abdul Razzaq and Younis Khan out of their squad for the limited-overs leg of their tour to the Caribbean later this month.

The sub-continental big guns will take on the West Indies across a lone Twenty20 International and five ODIs before their two-Test series gets underway.

While in-form seamer Gul and batsman Khan have been rested, wicketkeeper-batsman Akmal and all-rounder Razzaq’s poor showings at the World Cup have cost them their places in the 16-man party.

Mohammad Salman, a veteran of 103 first-class matches, graduates to the fold in Kamran’s absence, while 31-year-old fast bowler Aizaz Cheema is seen as a like-for-like replacement for Razzaq’s role with the ball.

“This debate over the wicketkeeper’s performance is a difficult one but I think the Pakistan team now needs a younger wicketkeeper who can carry the load for the next few years,” coach Waqar Younis said.

“It’s the right time to groom a wicketkeeper.”

The squad also sees fresh faces in left-handed batsman Taufeeq Umar and middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin and all-rounder Hammad Azam, who impressed the selectors enough at Under-19 level to crack the nod for the trip to the Caribbean.

Shahid Afridi will lead the side after reversing his decision to be rested.

The limited-overs skipper had originally opted out of the trip on the back of a heavy playing schedule, which culminated with Pakistan’s World Cup semi-final defeat to eventual champions India this month.

“I had decided to skip the tour because I wanted to take a break from the game, but some former players and my family and friends told me to change my decision at this crucial time for Pakistan cricket,” Afridi told Reuters.

Squad: Shahid Afridi (captain), 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. Agencies

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