Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced squad of Pakistan for Asia Cup 2012 which will start from March 11, 2012. Nasir Jamshed & Sarfraz Ahmed are called back where as Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat & Adnan Akmal are dropped.
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The new-look selection committee (includes Saleem Jaffar, Azhar Khan, Farrukh Zaman and Asif Baloch) under the new chief selector Iqbal Qasim held a two-hour meeting with Misbah before naming the squad.
Misbah-ul-Haq will continue to lead the ODI squad in the Asia Cup. Questions are raised about Jamshaid’s recall as his passport was seized in Bangladesh following the arrest of the Karachi-based bookie Sajid Khan during the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.
This may be a last chance for the Sarfraz Ahmed as Pakistan is battling with wicket-keeper issue now for a long time. Same is going with pacers who aren’t performing good, these two departments are looking very weak & batsmen some time also give up to pour salt in the wounds.
Shoaib Malik who failed to perform with the bat & Imran Farhat who was on the account of his father-in-law (Mohammad Ilyas , ex-chief selector who resigned after team’s bad performance in the ODI’s & T20I’s against England in the recently concluded series) are dropped with Adnan Akmal who also wasn’t impressive behind the wicket.
New chief-selector Iqbal Qasim said: “The selectors were not ready for this as we thought we’d be put incharge after the Asia Cup. However, we’ve tried hard to work on the grey areas and name the best available in the space of 24 hours after consultation with Misbah.”
He further said: “When you don’t have a good wicketkeeper-batsman, the balance of the whole team gets disturbed. It is high time that Sarfraz finally comes good with the bat otherwise we will be forced to look elsewhere,”
Selected wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahemd said: “I have not been able to show my prowess with the bat but I am looking forward to playing decent knocks in the Asia Cup and finally repaying the selectors’ trust in me,”
He added: “Like everybody else, I just need one good innings to break the shackles and hopefully I will be able to transform my domestic batting heroics in the international arena.”
Nasir Jamshed, who made his debut against Zimbabwe back in 2008, vowed to grab this opportunity with both hands. He said: “My aim is to cash in on this opportunity as much as I can so that I don’t regret this. The BPL controversy is behind me and the few tough days I faced were part of a learning curve and a lesson for me.”
Pakistan will face India, Sri Lanka & host Bangladesh in the Asia Cup which will start from March 11, 2012 & will end on March 22, 2012.
Squad of Pakistan for Asia Cup:
Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shahid Afridi, Azhar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Wahab Riaz.
Reserves: Ahmed Shehzad, Rahat Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Afaq Rahim.