Pakistan will announce today a pool of 22 players for next spring’s World Cup, a top cricket official announced on Sunday, writes Khalid Hussain.
Chief Selector Wasim Bari told this correspondent that he has already held meetings with fellow selectors and the national team management and would submit a 22-man list to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) this morning.
“We have gathered input from all the concerned people and would be announcing an extended pool of 22 players for the tour of South Africa and the World Cup,” said the former Pakistan Test wicket-keeper.
The 22 players would be asked to attend a conditioning camp in Lahore from December 26 ahead of the tour of South Africa which will begin early next month.
Bari said that the list of probable players will have no surprises. “The list will include tried and tested players as we do not need any experimentation in the lead up to the World Cup,” he said.
Apparently, the selection committee received instruction from the PCB to pick 22 players so that there is a reserve for every regular member of the national team.
It was confirmed by the PCB chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf who said on Sunday that there would be a cover for all key players to avoid any last-minute jolts before or during the World Cup. The list will include comeback fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who were cleared of doping offences by an appeals committee earlier this month.
Shabbir Ahmed, who is likely to return to international cricket on December 20 after serving a one-year ban for illegal bowling action, will also be invited for the brief conditioning camp.
Explosive all-rounder Shahid Afridi remains doubtful to make it in the list following his latest failure in the fourth one-dayer against the West Indies in Multan.
It is expected that Pakistan will select wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider as cover for wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal who has not been very impressive behind the stumps in recent times.
Bari said the list has been prepared by the national selection committee after detailed discussions with Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and coach Bob Woolmer.
“I talked to Woolmer yesterday since he had to leave
for Christmas holidays and also got the input of Inzamam,” he said.
Following are the 22 players expected to make the probables’ list: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Faisal Iqbal, Shoaib Malik, Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Shabbir Ahmed, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Rehman, Zulqarnain Haider (wicket-keeper).
Source:The NewsMore on:Pakistan, PCB, Wasim Bari, World Cup
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