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Amir included; Shehzad, Gul axed from Pak squad for WT20

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Karachi :Continuing his reintegration in international cricket, tainted fast bowler Mohammad Amir was today selected in Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup even as seasoned opener Ahmed Shehzad and veteran bowler Umar Gul were shown the door.

Amir, who served a five-year ban and jail time for his involvement in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, returned to the international arena in the recent away series against New Zealand. The 23-year-old picked up five wickets in the short limited-overs series, which comprised two ODIs and three T20s.

The selectors have also inducted uncapped left-arm pacer Rumman Raees and rookie all-rounder Muhammad Nawaz, besides recalling Test opener Khurrum Manzoor, who has never played in a T20 international for Pakistan.

Among the ignored were batsmen Sohaib Maqsood and Muhammad Rizwan. The exclusion of Shehzad, Maqsood and Rizwan was expected as they had been struggling in recent matches.

The sources, in fact, said the selectors had delayed the announcement of the squad for three days as they were uncertain about dropping Shehzad and were also considering wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal.

“There were also some issues with the fitness of tall left arm pacer Muhammad Irfan also,” a source said.

Chief selector Haroon Rasheed, in a statement, said that while picking the squad, the team management and skipper Shahid Afridi were consulted.

“The T20 squad has been selected keeping in mind the conditions during Asia Cup and World T20 and the recent performances of some players in domestic and A team tours. The team is a fine blend of experience and youth and the selectors believe the team will do well in both tournaments,” Rasheed said.

PTI

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