Opener Salman Butt has paid the price for his recent poor form as he was axed for the two One-day Internationals (ODIs) that Pakistan will play against India in Abu Dhabi on April 18 and 19.
The two matches are supposed to mark the start of an agreement between Pakistan and Indian boards to play an increasing number of offshore games over the next few years that might yield good financial results for the boards and players. But the games also threaten to shorten the careers of quite a few of them because of excessive cricket.
The national selectors, interestingly, had submitted names of the players for the Abu Dhabi games a few days back to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) but the team was only announced after captain Inzamam-ul-Haq sent in another list to the Board on Thursday.
“Salman Butt has obviously been dropped because he has struggled for form in the last few games despite remaining a regular member of the side since the Australian tour in 2005,” a PCB official said.
“With Imran Farhat doing well in his last few games and Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi also capable of opening, it was no use retaining Butt in the side for the two one-dayers but he should be in contention for the England tour which is a lengthy one,” he said.
The selectors have also dropped pacer Umar Gul who played in all the matches in Sri Lanka without really being consistent or impressive although he bowled well in patches.
Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer said Gul was a definite prospect for the future and he just needed to work a bit on his line and length. “He bowled well in patches in the Tests in Sri Lanka,” he said.
Gul, however, has been named in the Pakistan A side that also goes to Abu Dhabi on April 22 to play in the Euro Asia Cup also featuring the A teams of Sri Lanka and India and the national teams of Ireland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The selectors have also recalled left-arm spinner Abdul Rahman for the two one-dayers although he returned from Sri Lanka without playing a match.
Pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan has also been included. Rana returned from the recent tour of Sri Lanka, where Pakistan won the one-day and Test series, to attend to his ailing wife.
The first of the two games in Abu Dhabi is being played fore the victims of the October 8 earthquake that caused major devastation in parts of northern Pakistan while the proceeds from the second game would be shared by the two boards.
“Weâ€™ll donate 75 percent of the earnings of the first match for the Pakistani earthquake victims in the Presidentâ€™s Relief Fund and 25 percent will go to those affected by the quake in India,” a PCB official said.
This is the first time that ODIs sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) are being held in Abu Dhabi although their neighbours in the UAE, Sharjah has staged over a 100 ODIs under the banner of the Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS).
The PCB has also named batsman Hasan Raza to lead the A side in the Euro Asia Cup.
In an interesting decision, theyâ€™ve included three discarded Pakistan players Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez and opener Taufeeq Umar in the touring squad indicating that they are in contention for the senior teamâ€™s tour to England from late June.
Surprisingly, there is no place for Asim Kamal or Mohammad Sami even in the A squad although both until recently were regulars in the senior team and Kamal, in fact, being one of the more successful batsman at the Test level.
Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif, Rao Iftikhar and Abdul Rahman.
Hasan Raza (captain), Bazid Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Shahid Yousuf, Zulqarnain Haider, Tahir Khan, Mansoor Amjad, Umar Gul, Mohammad Irshad, Samiullah Niazi and Yasir Arafat.
Source: The NewsMore on:Abu Dhabi, Bob Woolmer, CBFS, Hasan Raza, icc, India, Pakistan, PCB, Salman Butt, Umar Gul
Technorati Tags: Abu Dhabi, PCB, UAE, Sri Lanka, earthquake, ICC, CBFS
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, April 8th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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