Pakistan recalls Nazir, Naved for Sri Lanka ODI series

July 22nd, 2009 - 8:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib Akhtar By Omar Khalid
Karachi, July 22 (IANS) Two of the former Indian Cricket League (ICL) players-opener Imran Nazir and medium-pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan-were Wednesday recalled to the Pakistan squad after two years, for the One-day International series against Sri Lanka beginning July 30.

Nazir and Naved return after severing ties with the rebel Indian Cricket League under the Pakistan Cricket Board’s amnesty scheme.

Nazir and Naved have been included after an experienced Mohammad Yousuf and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq made comebacks to the national team after leaving the ICL.

Nazir, 27, replaces opener Salman Butt, who has been out of form in recent months. “It is great to be back for the national duty,” Nazir said.

The Lahore-born batsman had a successful stint in the ICL with Lahore Badshahs and played a key role in his team’s title win last year. Nazir last played an ODI against India in Jaipur in November 2007.

Naved, 31, was also excited on getting the selectors’ nod. “I’m back, playing for my country and it’s a great feeling,” he said.

Naved last played for Pakistan in the opening match of the 2007 World Cup against West Indies but was dropped for the subsequent matches and the tours to Abu Dhabi and Scotland.

Naved, later, signed up with the ICL in February last year.

“As always I will be giving my 100 percent effort. I hope to justify my recall to the team,” said Naved, who has played nine Tests and 62 ODIs for Pakistan.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was overlooked for selection for fitness reasons. He declined to undergo a fitness test organised by the PCB last week because his mother was unwell.

A test was finally conducted later in the week, but it was cut short without the paceman even bowling a single delivery.

Left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed, who missed the last two tours against Australia and the West Indies due to injury and sickness, has also been included in the squad.

Shahid Afridi, who opted out of the current Test series against Sri Lanka because he wanted to rest, returns to the team.

Pakistan team: Younis Khan (captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wicket-keeper), Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Aamer, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Rao Iftikhar Anjum.

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