Pakistan announce World Cup squad without a captain

January 18th, 2011 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar By Omar Khalid
Karachi, Jan 18 (IANS) Pakistan cricket selectors Tuesday failed to name the captain and excluded senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf from the 15-member squad for the World Cup starting Feb 19.There were speculations that Pakistan will bring back Yousuf to bolster its batting line-up but the selectors showed faith in younger batters - Asad Shafiq and Ahmed Shahzad. Yousuf, 36, scored a fifty in the National One-day Cup but the selectors were not impressed with his fitness.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also failed to make a call on the captaincy issue as the squad was announced without a captain and vice-captain.

Shahid Afridi, who has been leading Pakistan in one-day cricket since last year, remains a strong contender for World Cup captaincy but there is a possibility that PCB might opt for Misbah-ul-Haq who is Pakistan’s current Test captain. Misbah has been included in the ODI squad in New Zealand as vice captain.

Afridi, Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Akhtar are the only survivors from the 1999 World Cup in which Pakistan finished runners-up.

Rookie fast bowler Tanvir Ahmed, who is part of a 16-man touring party for the one-day series against New Zealand, also failed to find a place in Pakistan’s pace battery, which includes Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir.

Pakistan will be without key fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer as well as former Test captain Salman Butt, who were all provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on charges of spot-fixing during the team’s tour to England last year.

Pakistan are in Group A of the 14-team event to be played between Feb 19 and April 2. It will begin its title campaign against Kenya at Hambantota in Sri Lanka Feb 23.

Pakistan squad: Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Ahmed Shahzad.

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