Akhtar in Champions Trophy probables; Yousuf, Asif out

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 15:15 [IST]
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Lahore: Dope-tainted pacer Mohammad Asif and veteran middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf have been excluded from the 30-member provisional squad for the Champions Trophy, while controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar just managed to sneak in as national selectors awaited a PCB approval on the same prior to a final announcement.

Batting ace Yousuf pulled out from the biennial event as it coincides with the holy month of Ramzan while seamer Asif was axed due to the recent doping saga at the IPL where the he tested positive.

Yousuf's withdrawal is likely to open doors for all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez to get a place in the squad.

Earlier, the name of Faisal Iqbal was also considered but he too was not available.

Though it was expected that the PCB officials will grill the selectors for including Shoaib name in the list, the absence of chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi saw Zakir Khan (Director, Cricket Operations International) and Mudassar Nazar (Director, National Cricket Academy) discussing the squad with them.

Meanwhile, Chief Selector, Salahuddin Ahmed had stated that the PCB would announce the list of final probables today.

He also said a few matches will be arranged shortly to asses the fitness of the players.

''Some matches will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium from Aug 5-9 to allow Shoaib Akhtar and others to prove their match-fitness,'' said the chief selector.

But still there was no official announcement from the Board regarding the provisional-member list for the Champions Trophy has been made and the last date to announce the final team for the Champions Trophy is Aug 11.


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