Lahore: The ripples of Pakistan’s disastrous World Twenty20 campaign continues to resonate with star players Shahid Afridi, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal being excluded from the probables list for the tour of England next month.
Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who recently resigned as Afghanistan coach to head the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee, announced a list of 35 players for a training camp in Kakul near Abottabad in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province from May 14 to June 4.
Afridi attracted much criticism after Pakistan’s poor performance in the World T20 and Inzamam asserted that the veteran batsman will have to prove himself at the domestic level in order to be considered for the national team. Shehzad and Akmal meanwhile, were dropped due to a combination of poor performance and indiscipline.
Left-arm pacer Mohammad Irfan was also excluded from the camp due to fitness issues.
“Since we are playing only four Twenty20 matches this year we want to give new players a chance, and that will also allow Afridi to rest and perform in domestic matches,” Inzamam told the media here on Monday.
“Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal have not been included in the training camp taking into view their past disciplinary record. Neither is their discipline good nor their recent performances consistent and impressive,” he added.
“We are looking at building a new team for the T20 format but Shahid will be considered later on if necessary.”
Pointing out that he had spoken to all the selectors and has also studied the reports of former coach Waqar Younis before deciding to drop Shehzad and Umar, Inzamam asserted that he will be extremely firm on disciplinary issues. Waqar had held Afridi, Akmal and Shehzad as among those responsible for Pakistan’s poor performance at the World T20.
“We now have to ensure there is no compromise on discipline if we are to move forward. I also call on the media to support us in our decisions,” Inzamam said,
“Let me make one thing clear this selection committee is totally independent. The board gives us guidelines but in the end it is our decision on who to select and who not to select,” he added.
Afridi also backed the selector’s decision on his official Twitter handle and promised to stage a comeback.
“Appreciate the approach by selection committee. Happy that youngsters are getting a chance1/2,” Afridi tweeted.
“I am going to play county cricket this season and will IA try to prove my fitness & form and make a comeback.”
Pakistan will play four Tests, five one-dayers and one T20 match during their England tour.
The probables: Mohammad Hafeez, Sami Aslam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam, Akbar-ur-Rehman, Asif Zakir, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Adnan Akmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Asgher, Imad Wasim, Bilal Asif, Zohaib Khan.