ICL: Indian Cricket League

Pakistan opt for tried and tested players for World Cup


Pakistan on Wednesday announced their 30-man preliminary squad for this March’s World Cup in the West Indies, deciding against including any new face in the list.

Dope-tainted pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were included in the provisional list in spite of the fact that they are under threat of a doping ban following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The players were banned after testing positive for an illegal performance-enhancing drug last November but later cleared by an appeals committee last month.

However, WADA has challenged the ban u-turn and the proceedings of the appeal are expected to begin later this month by Lausanne-based CAS.

The preliminary list of players for the World Cup to be held from March 13 to April 28 was announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on recommendation of the national selection committee.

“We have opted for tried and tested players in the preliminary squad because the World Cup is less than two months away and we cannot afford any experimentation,” chief selector Wasim Bari said on Wednesday.

There were expectations that Pakistan might include a couple of rookies in their squad, especially Karachi’s fast-rising all-rounder Fawad Alam who was named the best player in last month’s Twenty20 Cup.

However, the national selectors have decided that the talented player is still not good enough to make the provisional list and instead opted for discarded Test players like batsmen Bazid Khan, Hasan Raza and Misbah-ul-Haq.

They have retained the 25 players who attended a brief conditioning camp in Lahore last month ahead of the current tour of South Africa.

The 16 competing teams of the World Cup have to announce their final 14-member squads by February 13, a month before the opening match of the quadrennial tournament in Jamaica on March 13 between Pakistan and the West Indies.

Pakistan’s provisional list includes Shoaib and Asif even though there are fears that CAS might block their participation in the World Cup.

However, Bari said that the selection committee has not been given any special instructions about the duo.

“As far as we are concerned, Shoaib and Asif have been cleared to play international cricket which is why they are among the core players in the initial list,” said Bari.

He said that Pakistan, who won the World Cup in 1992, have included all their best players in the preliminary list and hoped that the squad would do well in the West Indies.

Probables: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Shahid Nazir, Danish Kaneria, Yasir Hameed, Shabbir Ahmed, Mohammad Sami, Abdul Rehman, Salman Butt, Faisal Iqbal, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Rao Iftikhar, Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Khalil, Bazid Khan, Mansoor Amjad, Zulqarnain Haider, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Misbah-ul-Haq, Hasan Raza.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2007 and is filed under General.

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