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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Asia Cup 2010: Pakistan Squad Players List

A 15-man squad was named by the Pakistan selectors for the upcoming Asia Cup 2010 in Sri Lanka that will start from June 15. Pakistan squad looks balance with the combination of new and experienced players. Here, I have given the list of players’ name:

Pakistan squad for Asia Cup 2010: Shahid Afridi (capt), Salman Butt (vice capt), Imran Farhat, Shahzaib Hasan, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman.

Both Shoaib Akhtar and Shoaib Malik are considered as one of the unexpected inclusions in the squad. They made their place in the national side after going through a fitness test at National Cricket Academy that was monitored by the PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt, Chief Selector Mohsin Khan, Captain Shahid Afridi and Head Coach Waqar Younis.

Shoaib Akhtar, who is also known as Rawalpindi Express, had to bowl 12 overs to proof his fitness in the warm weather of Lahore. A medical report declared him fit and confirmed that he can play in the tournament. On the other hand, Shoaib Malik involved his name into the squad after the appellate judge lifted his ban last week.

The inclusion of the controversial fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, has become a matter of great joy for cricket fans. He will cheer his fans once again showing his bowling speed. Thirty-four-year-old Akhtar made his return after a year of break. He last played for Pakistan in May 2009 against Australia until he was suffering from knee injury.

Injuries and controversies made his 13-year cricket career full of uncertain. He earned his position after showing good performance in the recently concluded domestic ODI tournament. He underwent surgery to decrease his weight. Now, Shoaib Akhtar is healthy and he is likely to be an important part of Sri Lanka tour.

It is also reported that Shoaib Akhtar may be excluded from the squad because of his calf injury. He was seen sporting a bandage on his left calf during a training camp. It also raised questions over his fitness. According to a team sources, Akhtar used the bandage to avoid any injury before taking part in the four-nation ODI tournament.

Selectors always feel worried about him as he has the worst history of being affected by injuries. That is why, he is called injury prone fast bowler. This rumor could not affect his career as Shoaib Akhtar got favor from captain, Shahid Afridi, who scolded the reporters for this fake report. It is not still sure if Shoaib Akhtar is fully fit. This matter will be cleared when Pakistan will start their campaign.

Former Pakistan captain, Shoaib Malik, made his place in the national side after a one-man tribunal lifted his one year ban and halved his fines to one million rupees. He also successfully passed the fitness test. He was one of the seven players to be punished by the Pakistan Cricket Board. PCB banned him for one year and fined two million rupees (24,000 dollars) after he was found guilty for breaching players’ code of conduct and finished the Australia tour without any victory.

This upcoming ODI tournament is going to be an important one for newly married Shoaib Malik, who married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza in April.

All rounder, Shahid Afridi, was named captain for all three formats of cricket after a long debacle. He will not only lead Pakistan cricket team in Asia Cup but also in England tour where the touring side will face Australia and host England. Salman Butt was named as his deputy.

Shahid Afridi was also named captain for ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2010 that took place in West Indies. His captaincy in the recently concluded T20 World Cup was not up to the mark as Pakistan could not defend the title for the second time. Even he was given the toughest job when PCB is testing players for captaincy.

The injury of the inform bowler, Umar Gul, has come as a great shock. His shoulder injury forced the selectors not to include his name. He has been sidelined with a shoulder injury for the last two months. Due to his injury, he could not represent his country in the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies last month.

After falling awkwardly, Gul injured his right shoulder during a training camp for the Twenty20 World Cup and could not play the tournament. Pakistan also suffered for his absence. He was the highest wicket taker in the T20 World Cup 2009.

Some new players have been included in the squad. Twenty-one-year-old left-handed batsman, Umar Amin, is one of the uncapped players. He is likely to make his debut in this tournament. He and Asad Shafiq have impressive performance in domestic cricket that helped them to get their place in the team.

Twenty-year-old Shahzaib Hasan got chance to make his debut in the shortest version of cricket in the second T20 World Cup in England last year. He is yet to play an ODI match. May be, this upcoming tournament will give him a chance to make his debut in a 50-over format.

Former Pakistan captain, Younis Khan, was included in the preliminary squad, but later his name was axed from the final squad. He was banned for an indefinite period over infighting during the Australia tour. PCB imposed the ban on him in March. However, his ban was lifted recently and made him available for future tour.

Another player who was banned for an indefinite period was Mohammad Yousuf. He has taken retirement to show protest against the punishment. Afridi will hope that Yousuf will come out of retirement and join Pakistan cricket team as he is the most dependable middle order batsman. His inclusion will make strong batting line up.

Pakistan cricket team will start their campaign against the defending champion Sri Lanka on June 15. After that, they will face their arch-rival India on June 19. Their last match will be played against Bangladesh on June 21.

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