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Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Yousuf in Cup 2011 Plans

Posted by on Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 12:08
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Out-of-favour wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal breathed a sigh of relief as he was included in Pakistan’s  30-man squad for the World Cup.

Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Yousuf in Cup 2011 Plans
Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Yousuf in Cup 2011 Plans

Mohammad Yousuf, who retired earlier this year only to make his comeback in the summer, was also included in the squad while former captain Shoaib Malik and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria were left out. Akmal was one of three players awaiting clearance by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) but remained confident of being included in the squad that takes part in the tournament.

“I’m a true country man,” Akmal told The Express Tribune. “This is what I’ve been trying to prove and I knew I’ll return because I was determined.”

The PCB had delayed naming the squad due to the clearance issue before the International Cricket Council (ICC) extended the deadline to January 5. The board’s Integrity Committee sat through a series of meetings to discuss the three players’ issue who were reportedly under the ICC’s scanner.

“There’s a lot of speculation regarding the clearance of the players,” said the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt. “The Integrity Committee gave its views on some players to the selection committee which was taken into consideration before the 30 players were selected for the World Cup.”

Chief selector Mohsin Khan, meanwhile, requested the nation to back the selected players who needed encouragement to win the World Cup.

“We’re satisfied with the squad and confident that we’ve selected the best squad from among the players available,” said Mohsin. “The selection committee met on multiple occasions before finalising the preliminary squad.”

Yousuf included

Apart from Akmal, Yousuf was also recalled after being left out of the New Zealand tour because of fitness problems. Another notable inclusion was of all-rounder Rana Navedul Hasan who makes it to his national squad for the first time after getting his year-long ban overturned.

Akmal has missed action since the England tour, which was marred by spot-fixing allegations. The 28-year-old wicket-keeper was left out for the South Africa series in the UAE and was later overlooked from the Twenty20 and Test squad for the New Zealand tour despite recovering from an appendix operation.

On the other hand, Malik has been out of favour since the Twenty20 series against Australia in England and played in the second Test against Australia following Afridi’s retirement at Lord’s. Akmal, Malik and Kaneria had appeared before the PCB’s Integrity Committee and submitted details of their assets and accounts last week.

Kamran Akmal

“This is what I’ve been trying to prove and I knew I’ll return because I was determined. Despite being heavily criticised throughout my bad patch, I was motivated to make a return.”

Nasir Jamshed

“I never gave up the idea of making a return to the Pakistan team. In the past, I was left out due to constant injuries. However, now I’m ready to serve my country again.”

Squad

Shahid Afridi, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufiq Umar, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Younus Khan, Misbahul Haq, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Naved Yasin, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Salman Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Rana Navedul Hasan, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Tanvir Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Asad Ali.

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