Pakistan Cricket Board has announced 15-member Pakistan squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy tournament which held in England from June 1 to June 18.
Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal who were dropped from the ODI squad which traveled to West Indies earlier this month, have been recalled by Pakistan for the squad that will travel for the Champions Trophy in England. Both Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal were a part of Pakistan ODI squad which lost 4-1 to Australia in January. Azhar gave up captaincy recently after those continues failures as a batsman and also as a captain.
Kamran Akmal, the elder brother of Umar was the leading run-scorer and declared Man of the Tournament during the Pakistan Super League, traveled to West Indies to play T20Is and ODI series. He scored 90 runs in 4 T20Is and also scored only 68 runs in 3 ODI innings. After those unimpressive performances in West Indies, he has once again dropped from the squad.
It was a disappointing return for a man riding a wave of form from the PSL, but his failure to convert that into international runs has seen him pay the price. In addition, his discomfiture in the outfield, having played most of his career as a wicketkeeper, was evident, and two dropped catches – including a very easy chance – couldn’t have helped his cause.
Umar Akmal had lost his spot owing to poor returns in Australia, but has been recalled. With his brother Kamran Akmal getting the axed from the squad, Umar will be the backup wicketkeeper in the squad.
Fahim Ashraf, the 23-year old all rounder is the only uncapped player in the 15-men squad who yet to make debut in any of the format. He was part of the ODI squad for the three-match series against the West Indies, but did not make the final XI. Fakhar Zaman who had a fantastic PSL season earlier this year, named in the squad for Champions Trophy. He is also yet to make his ODI debut, although he did play three of the four T20s against West Indies earlier this month.
Wicket Keeper Sarfraz Ahmed is all set to lead the Pakistan side in this ICC tournament. His squad has 5 specialist batsmen Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Umar Akmal. Batting All Rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik are also in the squad along with 18-year old all rounder Shadab Khan and Fahim Ashraf. Key all rounder Imad Wasim is also in the squad.
Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan are the four pace bowling options that Pakistan has for this tournament.
Pakistan are placed in Group B of the Champions Trophy, and begin their campaign against current holders India on June 4, before taking on South Africa and Sri Lanka on June 7 and June 12, respectively. The top two sides from each group will qualify for the semi-final stage.
PAKISTAN SQUAD :
- Sarfraz Ahmed
- Ahmed Shehzad
- Azhar Ali
- Babar Azam
- Faheem Ashraf
- Fakhar Zaman
- Hasan Ali
- Imad Wasim
- Junaid Khan
- Mohammad Amir
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Shahdab Khan
- Shoaib Malik
- Umar Akmal
- Wahab Riaz