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Shoaib left out of ODI squad

Source: PTI
March 24, 2005 22:16 IST
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Pakistan's cricket selectors decided to provide Shoaib Akhtar more time to regain top match fitness and left him out of a tentative 16-man team for the six-match one-day series against India, starting April 2 at Kochi.

The final team will be announced on Friday after chairman of selectors Wasim Bari's telephonic discussion with the team management late this evening.

"The 16-man team has been finalised by the selectors and Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir Ahmed have been left out chiefly because they are not yet match fit," sources close to the selection committee said.

Shoaib resumed bowling earlier this week while Shabbir Ahmed played a 50-over-a-side match in Karachi on Thursday.

"Shabbir needs more time while Shoaib has not yet conveyed his availability. In all probability, the two players will stage their comebacks on the tour of the West Indies this summer," the sources said.

Shoaib missed the Test series with a hamstring injury but had hoped to return to the side for the one-dayers.

The selectors have decided to send opener Imran Farhat, all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and fast bowlers Shahid Nazir and Rao Iftikhar Anjum to India for the one-day series. The foursome will replace Taufeeq Umar, Mohammad Khalil, Salman Butt or Yasir Hameed and Danish Kaneria or Arshad Khan.

"Today's (telephonic) discussion between the chief selector and team management will revolve around who will be the opener and the spinner to return home," the sources said.

"As things stand at present, Yasir Hameed and Danish Kaneria are likely to catch flights back home along with Taufeeq and Khalil," the sources said, adding "the consent of the team management will be taken before the names are officially released.

"Kaneria is considered as a Test specialist by the team management while Yasir has been off form recently."

Yasir appeared in 46 one-dayers for Pakistan but his last half-century came 16 matches ago when he scored 102 against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

Shahid Nazir, who narrowly missed the tour after Bob Woolmer voted in favor of Mohammad Khalil, has played 17 one-dayers for Pakistan in which he has taken 19 wickets. His last appearance for Pakistan was against Sri Lanka at Lahore in February 2000. Shahid is currently touring Sri Lanka with Pakistan 'A' and will join the team directly from Colombo.

Rao Iftikhar Anjum has picked six wickets in eight appearances so far.

Mohammad Hafeez, who was also reported for a suspect bowling action during the VB tri-nation series in Australia, has played 28 one-dayers in which he has scored 494 runs and taken 25 wickets. Imran Farhat averages 34.30 from 21 one-dayers.

One-day squad (subject to team management's approval):

Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan (vice-captain), Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Yousuf Youhana, Asim Kamal, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Nazir, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Arshad Khan and Shoaib Malik.

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