Pakistan announce T20 squad to take on West Indies, Umar Akmal makes a comeback
Pakistan selectors have handed a recall to controversial batsman Umar Akmal into the Twenty20 squad to face West Indies in three matches in the UAE from September 23.
Akmal demanded selection into the team as he displayed superb form in the National T20 Cup. He plundered 304 runs for the Lahore Whites at an imposing average of 152 and with a strike rate of 202.66. In the match against Rawalpindi, he smoked 115 runs.
While there was no doubt over the ability of Umar Akmal, he was always surrounded with controversies regarding disciplinary issues. He last played international cricket at the World T20 in March but was named by outgoing coach Waqar Younis in his report. Waqar categorically stated that he should go back to domestic cricket and then earn his place back into the National team.
Apart from Umar, 26-year-old all-rounder Saad Nasim and 24-year-old fast bowler Rumman Raees also earned call-ups into the squad. Both these players have been in impressive form in Domestic tournaments. Raees has played 50 T20 games and has bagged 53 wickets at an average of 25.39. He was initially part of the World T20 squad but was replaced by Mohammad Sami due to injury.
Amad Butt, the young fast bowler who was picked up for the one-off T20 against England has been left out. Also, left-armer Mohammad Irfan who picked up a hamstring injury during the One Dayers continues to be out of contention. Also, former captain Mohammad Hafeez has not been picked due to his own injury.
Pakistan will take on World T20 champions West Indies in a series comprising of 3 T20s, 3 ODIs and 3 Test Matches. The first two T20Is will be played in Dubai on September 23 and 24 respectively before teams travel to Abu Dhabi for the final game on September 27. The ODI and Test series will follow the T20 blitz.
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Khalid Latif, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Rumman Raees, Umar Akmal, Saad Nasim