KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee dropped seasoned batsman Younus Khan as it named a 30-man preliminary squad for the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy yesterday.
The selection committee, headed by former Test cricketer Iqbal Qasim, announced the provisional squad after days of deliberation on the sidelines of the Super-Eight Twenty20 in Lahore that ended on Sunday.
Younus’ snub was on the cards as the middle-order batsman has been in poor form in the 50-over format and also failed to make his presence felt in the recent series against South Africa.
According to reports, the former captain, who already retired from the Twenty20 version, was considering retiring from ODIs as well. However, a selector said that Younus must not lose heart.
“To retire or not will be his own decision,” a selector told The Express Tribune. “If Younus feels he is still good enough, he can make a comeback by showing his form in domestic competitions.”
He said the decision to drop the batsman was made after reaching consensus with the team management including coach Dav Whatmore and captain Misbahul Haq.
Meanwhile, several former cricketers a called for an overhaul in the team, demanding snub of senior players after the South Africa tour.
While Younus was axed, all the other senior players including Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul and Kamran Akmal were retained.
The selector said the team will need experience of the seniors in the major event.
“We will need their experience in England. It’s a massive event plus the conditions will also be tough there.”
He added the form and fitness of the players will be gauged in the upcoming domestic one-day tournament before the 15-man team is finalised.
Things continue to be the same for Abdul Razzaq, who failed to find a place in the squad. However, upcoming all-rounder Hammad Azam was included.
“We are unaware of Razzaq’s fitness since he has not taken part in domestic tournaments.”
The Champions Trophy probables include Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Ahmed Shehzad, Misbah, Harris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Sohail Tanvir, Azam, Azhar Ali, Afridi, Asad Ali, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil, Imran Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar, Kamran Akmal and M Rizwan.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2013.
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