Saeed Ajmal Included In Pakistan World Cup Squad
Pakistan have included Saeed Ajmal in their 30-man preliminary squad for the Cricket World Cup 2015 despite the fact that he is currently banned from bowling due to an illegal action.
Ajmal was suspended in September and although he has worked on remodelling his action, he is not yet ready for a return.
Nevertheless, with the World Cup not getting underway until February, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selectors still see him as a part of their plans.
Misbah-ul-Haq will captain the side and the deadline for all teams to name a final 15-man squad is 7th December.
Pakistan's preliminary squad includes five opening batsmen, nine middle-order batsmen, six pace bowlers, three other spinners as well as Ajmal, four all-rounders and two wicket-keepers.
Sami Aslam is the only uncapped player included in the squad while wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, who has not played an ODI since June 2013, has been recalled.
"In our assessment, by the time the five 50-over games in the UAE against the Black Caps and the away short ODI series against New Zealand as well as the practice games are over in the next two months or thereabouts immediately prior to the mega event, Team Pakistan will be close to hitting its peak," chief selector Moin Khan said.
"For me personally, the 1992 World Cup victory ranks amongst our greatest cricketing achievements. I am positive that the present outfit too has the capacity to replicate that triumph Down Under," he added.
1992 champions Pakistan open their campaign in Pool B against rivals India on 15th February before going on to play the West Indies (20th February), Zimbabwe (1st March), United Arab Emirates (4th March), South Africa (7th March) and Ireland (15th March).
They won the World Cup the last time it was held in Australia and New Zealand, venue for next year's event, and will be looking to build on a disappointing exit at the semi-finals in 2011 at the hands of India.
In 2007, they failed to negotiate their way out of the group stages, suffering defeats at the hands of the West Indies and Ireland, who they will face again this time around.
Pakistan preliminary World Cup squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Anwar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Ehsan Adil, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Talha, Nasir Jamshed, Raza Hasan, Saeed Ajmal, Sami Aslam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younus Khan, Zulfiqar Babar
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