Image courtesy of: Zimbio
All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez failed to make the cut as Pakistan announced their squad for the Asia Cup, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates later this month.
Being snubbed for the Asia Cup is the latest in a series of setbacks for the 37-year-old as he was first banned from bowling after being reported for a suspect action.
However, after overcoming that hurdle, he was included in Pakistan’s squad for the recent five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe. But, he didn’t play a single game, which led to him venting his frustrations and demanding answers from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
To make matters worse, he was demoted from a category A to B contract, which sparked rumours that he would retire from international cricket.
While being dropped for the Asia Cup will only add to Hafeez’s frustrations, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq insisted that the veteran all-rounder is among the players being considered for Pakistan’s World Cup squad.
“Hafeez is a part of the 20-22 players that we are considering for the World Cup,” Inzamam was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Shan Masood is also a part of it. Hafeez is a good player and now he can bowl as well. But, we have other options now. There is much more cricket after the Asia Cup. At this moment, we are trying other options.”
Meanwhile, opener Shan Masood found a place in the squad as he has been in magnificent form in List A cricket as of late.
In his last 10 List A matches, Masood has racked up three centuries and five half-centuries.
The 28-year-old boasts a List A average of 58.21, but has yet to make his ODI debut. However, he has played for Pakistan in the past as he has featured in 12 Test matches, the last of which came in October 2017.
While Masood was included in the side, spinner Imad Wasim missed out as he failed to adhere to Pakistan’s strict fitness standards.
Wasim failed a fitness test on Monday and despite being given another chance yesterday, he fell short of the mark once again.
“We have a clear stance that only those players who pass the fitness tests should be selected,” Inzamam said. “Those who are unable to do so are provided two to three chances. Imad was also provided those chances, but he failed. He has performed for Pakistan when he has played and he would have been a good addition to the side. But, we are not going to compromise on our stance related to the fitness.”
Pakistan’s Asia Cup Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi