KARACHI: Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik on Wednesday expressed disappointment at being dropped from Twenty20 and Test squads against New Zealand, clamouring for answers from the cricket board.
Pakistan has announced separate squads for three Twenty20 matches and two Tests against New Zealand ahead of their tour, which starts later this month. Akmal, Malik, senior batsman Muhamad Yousuf and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria were left out.
A separate squad will be announced for six one-day internationals.
Chief selector Mohsin Khan said Akmal, Malik and Kaneria, all under suspicion of spot or match-fixing, had not been cleared by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Yousuf was left out for lack of fitness, he said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has reportedly issued notice to Akmal over alleged match-fixing during Pakistan's shock defeat against Australia in January's Sydney Test.
Pakistan cricket has been rocked by mounting allegations of fixing since the August Test against England at Lord's.
Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were provisionally suspended by the ICC after a British tabloid sting implicated them in spot-fixing during the match.
Akmal, however, claimed he had been cleared of any corruption.
"I am disappointed at being left out, because I passed an email from the ICC to the PCB last month which cleared my name for selection, so I should know why my name was excluded," Akmal, told AFP from the town of Sialkot.
The wicket-keeper was not selected for Pakistan's recent series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates because he was recovering from an appendicitis operation.
But he has since featured in domestic matches, hitting his highest first-class score of 268 last month.
Akmal's name was also mentioned in footage aired by a TV channel on Tuesday, with alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed claiming he was among seven players obeying his orders during matches.
Akmal admits Majeed was his marketing agent but denied that he had been involved in any wrongdoing.
"Majeed has been a Pakistani players' agent. He was Inzamam-ul-Haq's agent, Yousuf's agent and an agent for several other players, including Umar Gul and Salman Butt. But I have never been involved in any wrongdoing," said Akmal.
Akmal said he still has hopes of playing for Pakistan.
"I am performing well at first-class level, so I still hope to play for Pakistan in the one-day series against New Zealand and then in next year's World Cup," said Akmal.
Malik also told AFP he was disappointed at being excluded.
"I am really disappointed," he said. "I have performed well in the domestic season."
Malik hit two hundreds in domestic matches last month.
"Throughout my 11-year career I have never been involved in any wrongdoing and was not even in the team when all those (fixing) allegations were levelled," said Malik.
He played in neither the Sydney Test nor against England at Lords.
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