Kamran Akmal has been named in the national squad after three years while Ahmed Shehzad, who had been dropped from the side on disciplinary grounds a year ago, also makes a return to the ODI and T20I squads announced for the forthcoming tour of West Indies. Former Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali, who had also led Pakistan in 4-1 series lost against Australia recently, has been dropped.
Kamran, 35, impressed selection committee, led by former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, courtesy a prolific run in the domestic circuit — he scored 1035 runs at 79.61 in the recent first-class season and was also the leading run-scorer in the second edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) with 353 runs. Akmal also aggregated 361 runs from eight innings in the departmental one-day cup 2016-17 tournament.
Shehzad, 25, who last represented Pakistan in T20 World Cup 2016, also had a blistering run in the recently concluded one-day cup 2016-17 tournament. He scored three centuries enroute to amassing 653 runs at an average of 93.28 to impress the selectors. A series of scintillating knocks from him during the PSL for finalists Quetta Gladiators also helped his case.
Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman, two impressive talents who emerged during the PSL, also found a place in the squads for both limited-over formats. Mohammad Asghar, Asif Zakir and Fahim Ashraf are also rewarded for their consistent performances in the domestic system, as are included in the 50-over squad.
“These young players are equally good and they are going to play international cricket for the country,” Inzamam said. “So they need to play at the highest level at some stage and I have full faith in them. They will perform, and conditions in the West Indies, we all know are similar to the ones in subcontinent and the West Indies team isn’t like the one in the 70s, 80s or even from the 90s. But still if they face tough competition there, this will obviously help them to develop.”
For the T20Is, pace bowlers Rumman Raees and Usman Khan Shinwari are recalled, while Mohammad Amir has been rested.
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