Pakistan names World Cup squad minus Yousuf, mystery prevails over skipper

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

LAHORE - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced a 15-member squad for next month’s World Cup, which is to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The selectors, headed by former Test opener Mohsin Khan, have almost retained the ODI squad picked for the New Zealand tour, with the exception of fast bowler Tanvir Ahmad. However, the board has not yet named a captain or a vice-captain for the mega tournament.

Mohsin said the selection committee had picked the best available squad on the basis of the performances of the players in all formats of the game in recent times.

“We have stuck with those players who have been performing well for Pakistan in all forms of the game in recent times,” he said.

Khan, however, did not explain why veteran Mohammad Yousuf was omitted from the World Cup squad. But sources said the selectors were not satisfied with the senior batsman’s fitness.

“It is very disappointing to not be picked for such a big event especially since I am fit and playing in domestic cricket,” said Yousuf, reacting to his exclusion from the squad.

“Only the selectors can explain the reason to omit me because I think I have still lot of cricket left in me at the international level,” he added.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will lead the pace attack that also includes Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir, with all-rounder Abdul Razzaq supplementing as a medium-pace bowler.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman has been picked alongside off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

Mohsin said that the two spinners were picked despite the presence of Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez because the conditions in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh suited slow bowlers.

“We are confident that the two spinners will deliver the goods in the World Cup,” he added.

The decision to not name Pakistan’s captain for the World Cup while announcing the squad indicates that Test captain Misbah remains a strong choice to lead the one-day squad as well, after his successful run as Test skipper against South Africa and New Zealand.

Afridi, who has led the Pakistan team in T20 and ODI since last year and is also captain for the forthcoming ODI series in New Zealand, has been criticised for his leading abilities. According to sources, some players and officials have also been raising questions over his ‘behaviour and attitude’.

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2011:

Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younus Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir and Ahmad Shahzad. (ANI)

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