Lahore, Jan 5: Talk about double standards. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has included spot-fixing suspect Kamran Akmal in a preliminary 30-man squad for this year's 50-over World Cup, but left out another spot-fixing suspect leg-spinner Danish Kaneria as well as valuabel allrounder Shoiab Malik.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi is expected to retain the captaincy of the team. Veteran batsman Mohammad Yousuf and all-rounder Rana Navedul Hasan have also been included in the squad.
Kamran's name was mentioned in a video footage aired by a Pakistani TV channel last month, in which alleged bookmaker Mazhar Majeed claimed that the wicketkeeper was among the seven Pakistani players obeying his orders during matches.
Kamran had admitted that Majeed was his marketing agent, but denied that he had been involved in any wrongdoing.
Former Test captain Salman Butt and fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were not considered for selection as they are suspended on spot-fixing charges.
They will appear before an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal in Doha from January 6-11 and could face life bans.
"We are satisfied that we have selected the best squad from amongst the available players," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted chief selector Mohsin Khan, as saying.
"I request the whole nation to back the selected players who need all the encouragement to win the World Cup," he added.
The 10th edition of the World Cup will be jointly hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from February 19 to April 2.
Pakistan preliminary squad: Shahid Afridi (Captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shahzad, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Younus Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbahul Haq, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Abdul Rehman, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Salman Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Taufiq Umar, Zulfiqar Babar, Rana Navedul Hasan, Yasir Arafat, Yasir Shah, Aizaz Cheema, Naved Yasin and Asad Ali.