Umar Akmal returns for Pakistan test matches, Younis Khan back in one-day squad

Rizwan Ali / The Associated Press
July 9, 2014 12:20 AM

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan selectors on Wednesday recalled Umar Akmal for next month's two-test series against Sri Lanka while experienced Younis Khan returned to the one-day squad after 16 months.

Akmal hasn't been part of test team since last playing against Zimbabwe in 2011 while Khan had been repeatedly overlooked for the 50-over team since last competing against South Africa in March 2013.

Khan, who retired from Twenty20 after leading Pakistan to victory in the World Twenty20 in 2009, always retained ambitions to play at next year's World Cup even when the selectors had appeared to have given up on him.

In May during Pakistan team's training camp in Lahore, the 36-year-old Khan was one of the fittest players among the 40-odd players. He was later elevated to category A in the list of centrally contracted players after being initially given category B contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Selectors dropped Mohammad Hafeez from the test team after his poor performance in the last drawn test series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.

Although Hafeez scored 80 in the drawn second test, he was dropped for the decisive third test which Pakistan won to level the series at Sharjah.

The selectors have kept faith with the opening pair of Ahmed Shahzad and Khurram Manzoor while Khan, Azhar Ali, captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq still form the test's middle-order batting lineup.

While selectors have also recalled left-arm fast bowler Wahab Riaz, it is unlikely Misbah will tinker with frontline fast bowlers Junaid Khan, Mohammad Talha and Rahat Ali.

Opening batsman Sharjeel Khan, middle-oder batsmen Fawad Alam and Sohaib Maqsood, flamboyant Shahid Afridi, fast bowler Anwar Ali and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar will later join the team as limited-overs specialists.

Pakistan will open its tour with a test at Galle from Aug. 6 while Colombo will host the second test. The three one-day internationals will be played at Hambantota, Colombo and Dambulla.

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Test team: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shahzad, Khurram Manzoor, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Mohammad Talha, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz

One-day team: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shahzad, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Anwar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Talha, Wahab Riaz, Zulfiqar Babar.


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