ICC Champions Trophy: Pakistan call up Azhar Ali, axe Kamran Akmal

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Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali was recently dropped from the Pakistan ODI squad. — Reuters/File
Shukriya Pakistan

LAHORE: Pakistan’s selectors Tuesday dropped opener Kamran Akmal from the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy to be held in England in June but recalled his younger brother Umar.

35-year-old Kamran was part of Pakistan’s squad which won a three-match one-day series 2-1 in the West Indies earlier this month but managed scores of 47, 21 and nought.

The four-member selection committee headed by former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq included Umar in the squad after being dropped for the West Indies series following failed fitness tests.

Former one-day captain Azhar Ali returned to the squad following his absence in the Caribbean limited over series.

Inzamam said the squad was selected keeping in mind English conditions.

“Ali is making a comeback in the team after looking at his good track record in English conditions, while Umar also returns after considerable improvement in his fitness,” said Inzamam.

Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the squad after replacing Ali as captain for the West Indies tour.

Pakistan will play arch-rivals and defending champions India in their first Group B match at Birmingham on June 4 followed by matches against South Africa (June 7 in Birmingham) and Sri Lanka (June 12 in Cardiff).

Group A comprises of hosts England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

 

Pakistan squad:

Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad,  Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Fahim Ashraf, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan

 

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