Pakistan squad for West Indies ODIs, T20s announced, Azhar dropped

Pakistan on Wednesday recalled opener Ahmed Shehzad and Kamran Akmal in separate squads for the four-match Twenty20 and three-match one-day series in the West Indies starting later in February.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said Pakistan could benefit from Akmal's twin roles as a batsman and as a backup wicketkeeper to Pakistan's ODI and T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

"All the young players who have been selected will be given a chance to perform", Inzamam maintained. For the T20Is, Pakistan have picked left-arm quicks Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Usman Khan, Rumman Raees along with Hasan Ali. Shinwari will be replaced by another uncapped player, Fahim Ashraf, in the one-day series.

After a stellar domestic season Kamran Akmal has forced his way back into the limited overs squads for the tour of the West Indies.

Azhar Ali, who had been captain of the 50-over side as recently as January, has been dropped while fast bowler Mohammad Amir has been rested for the T20 format.

"Any player who failed to clear fitness test would not be selected", said Inzamam, while speaking to the media.

Pakistan doesn't afford to slip lower than their present No. 8 ranking in the ODIs until ICC's deadline of September 30, otherwise it has to play the qualifying rounds for the 2019 World Cup.

The selectors have also rewarded five uncapped players for their excellence in domestic cricket.

Sarfraz Ahmed will lead both the squads with the first Twenty20 in Barbados on 26 March. The remaining three matches will be played in Port of Spain on March 30, April 1 and 2. Shehzad was dropped from the Twenty20 and one-day squad after former head coach Waqar Younis described him as "undisciplined" following Pakistan's World Twenty20 failure in India in 2016.

  • Julie Sanders