Waqar escapes axe, stays skipper for tours of Zim, SA

Published: Saturday, October 26, 2002, 23:15 [IST]
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Lahore: Pakistan captain Waqar Younis has escaped punishment for a recent run of dismal results and will lead the team for next month's tour of Zimbabwe, it was revealed on Saturday.

A crop of oldies were recalled for the separate Test and One-day teams announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). "We have to have a team of youth and experience so this is the best possible team which we have selected for the tour of Zimbabwe," chief selector Wasim Bari said. "All those seniors who proved their fitness are back in the side." The PCB had appointed Younis captain until the 2003 World Cup but his post was in danger following Pakistan's 3-0 drubbing by Australia this month. But he has survived to lead both the Test and the 16-member One-day sides. The 15- man Test squad will leave for Zimbabwe on November 1. Chief selector Bari also refused to accept the blame for Pakistan's poor showing in the United Arab Emirates and rejected calls to resign. "Why should I resign? We selected the best team so the causes of defeats could have been bad planning and bad captaincy or any other." Dependable batsmen Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana return after missing the Australia matches through injury, but seasoned opener Saeed Anwar and wicket-keeper Moin Khan failed to find a place in either team. Akram and Anwar had opted out of the Australian series because they wanted a rest, a decision which came under severe criticism from captain Younis and the national media. Paceman Wasim Akram made it into the One-day team only. Pakistan will play two Tests and five One-day Internationals on the month-long tour. After a warm-up from November 3, Pakistan will start the two-match Test series with the first in Harare from November 9-13. The second Test will be played at Bulawayo from November 16-20. The One-dayers will be played at Bulawayo (November 23 and 24) and Harare (November 27, 30 and December 1). Pakistan will then cross the border to play five One-dayers and two Tests in South Africa in December and January, with a fresh squad. Pakistan Test squad: Waqar Younis (captain), Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice-captain), Taufiq Umer, Shahid Afridi, Salim Elahi, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Faisal Iqbal, Hasan Raza, Rashid Latif, Kamran Akmal, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Zahid and Mohammad Sami. Pakistan One-day squad: Waqar Younis (captain), Inzamam-ul-Haq (vice- captain), Shahid Afridi, Taufiq Umer, Younis Khan, Yousuf Youhana, Misbah-ul-Haq, Salim Elahi, Rashid Latif, Saqlain Mushtaq, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Zahid, Faisal Iqbal, Azhar Mahmood and Kamran Akmal.

Waqar vows Pakistan's return to form in future tours

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