Pakistan Drop Shoaib Malik From Limited-Overs Squads
Pakistan have dropped Shoaib Malik from their limited-overs squads, with all-rounder Hammad Azam and batsman (Twenty20 only) the chief beneficiaries. Their ODI squad contains only two changes from their Test one, with Shahid Afridi and Hammad replacing Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Talha in the line-up. The other notable absentee is Abdul Razzaq, who has declared himself not fit enough for international assignments.
Azhar Khan, a member of Pakistan’s selection committee, said of the squad: “We actually wanted to carry on with the winning sequence. It is a different ball game and I don't think we should take England side lightly. The limited-overs series is wide open for both teams. The team that quickly adapts itself in the format can take the upper hand."
Of the two youngsters, Hammad and Zia included in the squad he added, "We always look for room to blood a youngster in the side, to test the prospect of the talent. The inclusion of Zia and Hammad is a part of the proposition. Unfortunately we have been deprived from hosting the series on our home grounds, and we can't try out our talented players more openly.
"Zia is a shining star and we have picked him in a format that is well suited for him. Now it is his own responsibility to justify the opportunity. Hammad was definitely in line from many years but wasn't given a proper chance due to combination in the squad."
Pakistan will warm-up for the series against England with an eagerly anticipated ODI against Afghanistan in Sharjah on Friday.
ODI squad in full: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Adnan Akmal, Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Azhar Ali, Aizaz Cheema, Imran Farhat, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez, Junaid Khan, Younis Khan, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq
T20I squad in full: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Adnan Akmal, Umar Akmal, Hammad Azam, Aizaz Cheema, Imran Farhat, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez, Junaid Khan, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Asad Shafiq, Awais Zia
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