| Inzamam-ul Haq has been ignored again
Islamabad: Pakistan continued to ignore veterans Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul Haq while making “minimum” changes Tuesday in its national squad for the three-match one-day series against England next month.
Abdul Razzaq was dropped while allrounder Azhar Mahmood and opener Imran Nazir were recalled to the 16-member squad announced in Lahore.
Youngsters Faisal Iqbal and Taufeeq Umar, who were part of the squad in the recently-concluded tri-series in Sri Lanka where Pakistan lost in the final to New Zealand, were the other two players to be left out. Mahmood was included in the side following his excellent performance in the English County, chief selector Aamir Sohail said.
Also making a comeback was Misbah-ul Haq. Bilal Asad, a batting allrounder who has had a wonderful domestic season, is the only new face in the squad.
Though controversial speedster Shoaib Akhtar retained his place in the team despite serving a two-match suspension for ball-tampering, none of the other players, who were sacked in the wake of a disastrous World Cup campaign, were included.
Sohail said he was delighted with the progress of the young Pakistani team. “We won in Sharjah and were the losing finalists in Sri Lanka which means that we are on the right track. And keeping this in mind, we have tried to make minimum changes in the squad,” he said.
“In the rebuilding phase, consistency has to be the key and I think we have more or less stuck to the select group of players. The England tour will be gruelling and testing one for the youngsters but I am sure that it will be a great learning experience for them as well,” he said.
Sohail reiterated that the doors had not been completely shut on players like Inzamam.
“He was not considered for selection because he has not played cricket recently. But we are aware of his talent, experience and potential and it is just a matter of time before he will be back in the side,” he said about Inzamam, who has been the mainstay of Pakistani middle-order for long.
Rashid Latif (captain), Yousuf Youhana (vice-captain), Mohammed Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Faisal Athar, Yasir hameed, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Bilal Asad, Azhar Mahmood, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria.