Kamran axed for England series
Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has been dropped from the Pakistan squad for the two Twenty20 internationals against England in Dubai next week.
The 28-year-old failed to impress on his side’s disappointing recent tour of Australia, dropping four vital catches in the second Test in Sydney, although he did score 64 off 33 balls in last week’s T20 defeat. His place is taken by Sarfraz Ahmed.
There is also uncertainty over the future of coach Intikhab Alam, who will not travel with the side to the UAE. Under-19s coach Ijaz Ahmed will fill in.
Opening batsman Salman Butt has also been omitted from the 14-man squad along with fast bowler Mohammad Asif, who is barred from entering Dubai after being detained there with a small quantity of opium in June 2008.
The Pakistan Cricket Board’s request for Asif's ban to be overturned was rejected by Dubai authorities this week.
Shoaib Malik will skipper the team for both games, with Pakistan’s regular Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi set to miss the first match as he completes a two-match ban for ball-tampering.
In the seam department, Abdul Razzaq has replaced Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, and Sussex all-rounder Yasir Arafat also earns a recall.
Mohammad Talha and Wahab Riaz, part of the Pakistan A side to play against England Lions in Sharjah and Dubai, are also part of the full squad.
Left-armer Mohammad Aamer is one of three reserves, having picked up a groin injury that ruled him out of the last three ODIs and the Twenty20 in Australia.
The selection meeting was chaired by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt following the resignation of chief selector Iqbal Qasim last week.
England and Pakistan play back-to-back matches on February 19 and 20 at the new Dubai International Stadium.
Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Sarfraz Ahmad (wkt), Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Khalid Latif, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzaq, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Arafat, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Talha.
Reserves: Iftikhar Anjum, Aamer Sajjad, Mohammad Aamer.