LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday did not include controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in a list of 30 probables named for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 to be played in the West Indies in April-May.
The selectors have picked 6 openers, 8 middle order batsmen, 4 all-rounders, 5 pacers, 3 spinners and 3 wicketkeepers. The 15-member squad for the World Cup will be named on March 7, the final day of the National Twenty20 Cup.
PCB’s 76-year-old chairman Ijaz Butt told reporters that Akhtar, 34, was not considered because he had not played any international cricket since last May and had only recently resumed playing domestic cricket. Pakistan are the defending champions after beating Sri Lanka in the final of last year’s World Cup at Lord’s in London.
Though Akhtar has only taken part in a couple of List A matches since the series against Australia in United Arab Emirates (UAE) last May, he had said last week that he was still confident of making an international comeback. He will lead Islamabad Leopards in the upcoming National Twenty20 Cup.
Ijaz said the selectors had also ruled out injured fast bowler Sohail Tanvir from the Twenty20 World Cup. “Tanvir will undergo knee surgery in Australia and the doctors are not sure when he will regain the fitness,” Ijaz said. Tanvir, the 25-year-old left-arm paceman, was part of the Pakistan squad in the second Twenty20 World Cup. Another fast bowler who is missing from the probables is Mohammad Talha, who was part of the squad for the two Twenty20s against England in Dubai.
To a question, Ijaz said former fast bowler Waqar Younis had been offered the job of national coach after Pakistan lost all their Test and limited overs internationals on their recent tour of Australia. “We would like to see him take charge, we have made him an offer and we are now waiting for a reply from him,” he added. Waqar was the bowling and fielding coach during the recent tour of Australia where Pakistan lost all the Test and one-day matches.
Ijaz’s announcement brought down curtain on the tenure of Intikhab Alam as chief coach of the team although he still has eight months remaining in his two-year coaching contract with the board. Ijaz said the PCB had initially tried to hire a foreign coach and approached former Australian captain Greg Chappell in this regard. “Chappell couldn’t commit to us because of his commitments with Cricket Australia.
But we have still decided to hire a foreign coach to work as consultant with the team on series-to-series basis when required.” Waqar retired in 2003 after captaining Pakistan in the World Cup and is now settled in Sydney with his family and works as a television commentator.
Ijaz said no Pakistan team would participate in the Champions League Twenty20 this year. “I have already spoken to Lalit Modi about this and there is no chance of any team from Pakistan playing in the Champions League this year.” He said after the way Pakistan players were treated in the IPL auction he doesn’t see national players or teams taking part in the Champions League.
he Champions League features the best domestic Twenty20 teams from across the world. The first edition of the tournament was held in India last year. Pakistan were originally included as one of the participating teams, but they were omitted due to the political fallout of the Mumbai terror attacks. The venue for the 2010 tournament is yet to be announced.
Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Hafeez, Salman Butt, Shahzaib Hassan (openers), Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Naveed Yasin, Hasan Raza, Kamran Younis, Misbahul Haq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam (middle order batsmen), Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Hammad Azam, Rana Naveedul Hasan (all-rounders), Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Asif, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami (pace bowlers), Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hassan, Abdul Rehman (spinners), Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed and Zulqarnain Haider (wicketkeepers).