Karachi: Kamran Akmal was dropped from Pakistan’s One-Day International squad but Umar Akmal, his brother, was drafted back in when a 15-man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, to be held in England and Wales in June, was announced on Tuesday.
Kamran, 35, was part of the Pakistan team that won a three-match ODI series 2-1 in the West Indies earlier this month, but was below his best with scores of 47, 21 and 0. In his place came Umar, who had been dropped for that tour following a failed fitness test.
The four-member selection committee, headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq, also brought in Azhar Ali, the former captain of the side, after leaving him out of the sides that played the limited-overs games in the Caribbean, in place of Asif Zakir, the uncapped opening batsman.
That meant there was also no space for Mohammad Asghar, the uncapped left-arm spinner who also travelled to the Caribbean. Imad Wasim, the left-arm spinner, and Shadab Khan, the leg-spinner, are the main spin options in the team, with Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik also around to turn the ball.
Sarfraz Ahmed, who took charge of the ODI side in the West Indies, will lead the squad that also includes uncapped players Fahim Ashraf, the right-arm pacer, and Fakhar Zaman, the top-order batsman. Although Ashraf was part of the ODI squad against West Indies, he didn't make the final XI, while Zaman played three of the four Twenty20 Internationals on that tour.
Apart from Ashraf, the pacemen in the 15 are Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali.
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Fahim Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan.