Pak axe Yousuf, Razzaq from Twenty20 Cup squad

Published: Tuesday, August 7, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi: Pakistan selectors have dropped senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf and all rounder Abdul Razzaq from the squad for the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa next month.

The selectors have instead recalled batsman Misbah-ul-Haq and included youngster Fawad Alam in the 15-member party.

Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told a news conference on Tuesday that selectors felt Yousuf and Razzaq did not fit in as Twenty20 cricket was more suited to younger players and needed agile fielders.

"These two remain our most experienced performers and will top our list when we sit down to pick the teams for the home test series against South Africa," he said.

The decision to drop Yousuf and Razzaq comes at a time when both have yet to sign new central contracts offered to them by the Pakistan board. Both are said to have been made lucrative offers by the organisers of a new Indian Twenty20 league.

"The selectors can make their choices, it is their decision," Yousuf told Reuters. "But I have always maintained that I was keen to play in the Twenty20 form of cricket."

Yousuf, 32, last year set a new Test record for most runs in a calendar year scoring 1,788 runs with nine hundreds and has played in 75 Tests and 241 one-dayers.

Pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who were out of international cricket for over eight months after testing positive for banned substance, were given nod for the inaugural World Cup of ultra-abridged version of the sport.

Squad: Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Yasir Arafat and Abdul Rehman.

ThatsCricket (with inputs from Reuters)

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