LAHORE: Pakistan opener Kamran Akmal is set to face the axe for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy after his poor showing in the West Indies, with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee, headed by chief selector Inzamamul Haq, planning to bring in former ODI skipper Azhar Ali to line up alongside opener Ahmad Shahzad for the mega event.
Selectors gave the 35-year-old former wicketkeeper another chance to prove his mettle in the international arena following good performances in the domestic first-class season and the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League.
However, a dismal showing in the ODI series against the West Indies where he registered scores of 47, 21 and naught in the three matches he played, has forced the selectors to consider dropping him for the prestigious June 1-18 event.
On the other hand, Kamran’s brother, Umar Akmal, who missed the West Indies tour because of poor fitness, is in line to be included in the ICC Champions Trophy squad with Asif Zakir expected to make for the 26-year-old.
Inzamam, meanwhile, revealed that the selection committee is planning to observe the players in a few more matches of the ongoing domestic one-day tournament, the Pakistan Cup, before announcing the final squad for the Champions Trophy.
“We are planning to wait a few more days before announcing the final squad for the Champions Trophy as we want to observe some players’ performances in the ongoing domestic one-day cup. Aamer Yamin and a few others players are performing well in this cup and it will be unfair on them if we announced the team early. April 25 is the last day to submit the final squad to the ICC and we will announce the squad before that,” said Inzamam.
Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fahim Ashraf/Aamir Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz,, Junaid Khan, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan.