Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Even though he has been banned from bowling due to an illegal action, spinner Saeed Ajmal has still been included in Pakistan’s 30-man preliminary World Cup squad.
The move comes after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) asked that International Cricket Council (ICC) when Ajmal can get his action officially re-tested.
But, both the PCB and Ajmal will have their hearts in their mouths since Ajmal could be banned from bowling for 12 months if he fails the test again.
Pakistan have also included all-rounder Shoaib Malik and wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in the squad, even though both of them haven’t played ODI cricket for the last 18 months.
However, Akmal has been impressing the national selectors with his performance in the domestic competition, in which he is currently averaging 59.08.
Malik meanwhile has not enjoyed the same amount of success, but has managed to score 385 runs and take 18 wickets in seven matches for his new team ZTBL.
“At the moment, winning or losing aside, team Pakistan is performing adequately well in all three formats of the game,” Pakistan chief selector Moin Khan said. “The belief in the think tank is that the squad holds immense potential and promise to perform in any conditions. The most positive aspect is that some of our foremost proven talents have overcome physical issues and are raring to be given an opportunity to have a tilt at the global honours.
“In our assessment, by the time the five 50-over games in the UAE, the away short ODI series against New Zealand as well as the practice games are over in the next two months, Pakistan will be close to hitting its peak.
“For me personally, the 1992 World Cup victory ranks amongst our greatest cricketing achievements. I am positive that the present outfit too has the capacity to replicate that triumph Down Under.”
Pakistan’s preliminary World Cup squad: Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, Sarfraz Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Ehsan Adil, Mohammad Talha, Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Raza Hasan, Yasir Shah