Shoaib Akhtar ignored, Asif in Pak Champions Trophy squad

Pakistan's interim selection committee snubbed controversial speedster Shoaib Akhtar and recalled disgraced pacer Mohammad Asif in the CT squad.

updated: July 22, 2009 13:52 IST
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Pakistan's interim selection committee on Wednesday snubbed controversial speedster Shoaib Akhtar and recalled disgraced pacer Mohammad Asif in the preliminary 30-member squad for the ICC Champions Trophy scheduled in South Africa later this year.

The interim selection committee headed by former Test captain Wasim Bari also announced the squad for the ODI series in Sri Lanka and Shoaib Akhtar did not feature there as well.

The interim selection committee, which also includes captain Younis Khan, vice captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Intikhab Alam, sprang a surprise by naming Asif for the Champions Trophy.

Asif is serving a 12-month ban for failing a dope test in last year's Indian Premier League and the suspension ends on the day the Champions Trophy starts.

A spokesman of the Pakistan Cricket Board insisted that the authorities had got required clearance from the International Cricket Council and the drugs inquiry tribunal of the IPL before naming Asif whose ban ends on September 22.

Asif was last month fined by an inquiry committee, also headed by Bari, Rs one million for his 19-day detention in Dubai last year for possessing opium.

Asif has not played any cricket since last July when the Pakistan board also clamped a blanket ban on him for his failed dope test and the Dubai incident.

Meanwhile, Shoaib Akhtar's omissiom from both the squads will come as a shock for him as indications were that he would be considered for the Champions Trophy despite recent fitness and disciplinary issues.

The Pakistani selectors have also called up former Indian Cricket League (ICL) recruits Imran Nazir and Rana Naved for the one-day series in Sri Lanka and also for the Champions Trophy.

They, along with Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq, had resigned from the rebel league in late June and returned to mainstream cricket after paying a fine.

As expected, the selectors have omitted leg spinner Danish Kaneria from the one-day squads and included some rookie players, including batsman Umar Akmal, in both the squads.