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Umar Gul makes a surprise entry into Pakistan ODI's squad for England and Ireland tour

Ram Kumar
9.31K   //    09 Aug 2016, 19:44 IST
Umar Gul
Gul last played an ODI in April 2015 against Bangladesh

In what could be perceived as a bold statement, Pakistan have recalled senior pace bowler Umar Gul for the forthcoming ODI series against England and Ireland. Mohammad Irfan paid the price for his recent inconsistency as Ahmed Shehzad was overlooked due to various reasons.

The 32-year old Gul’s previous ODI appearance came in April 2015 against Bangladesh during the series which Pakistan lost 0-3. A combination of lack of alternatives and his extensive experience paved the way for the right-armer’s comeback.

A veteran of 126 ODIs, Gul has picked up 173 wickets at an average of 29.29 with an economy rate of 5.17. He played a couple of T20s during Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand in January, earlier this year.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah also made a comeback after missing most of the preceding limited-overs season due to a doping offense. Sami Aslam’s impressive showing in the 3rd Test at Birmingham earned him a spot at the expense of Shehzad.

Also Read: Pakistan drop Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi from probables for England tour

By virtue of strong performances for Pakistan ‘A’ during the recently completed triangular series involving Sri Lanka ‘A’ and England Lions, opener Sharjeel Khan returned to the squad as well. Uncapped Hasan Ali was one of the four seam bowlers named and could face stiff competition for a spot in the eleven.

Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq revealed, “While picking the squad, the team management and skipper were consulted and all concerned gave their consent in this regard. The team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions and the recent performances of some players in domestic and A Team tours. The team is a fine blend of experience and youth and the selectors believe that team will do well.”

Currently at ninth in the ICC ODI rankings, Pakistan will seek a turn around in their white-ball fortunes under Azhar Ali’s captaincy. They play a couple of games against Ireland on the 18th and 20th before clashing against England in a 5-match series.

Full Squad: Azhar Ali (c), Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Umar Gul, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz