Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Pakistan in all three formats © Getty Images
Lahore: Jul 28, 2011
Setting a new precedent, Pakistan on Thursday named Misbah-ul-Haq as captain of the national cricket team for all three formats of the game for the tour of Zimbabwe in September.
Misbah will lead a young 16-member Pakistan team in Zimbabwe, which includes as many as three uncapped players in middle-order batsman Ramiz Raja, leg-spinner Yasir Shah and fast bowler Aizaz Cheema, who all have been rewarded for their outstanding form in domestic cricket.
The national selection committee, under Mohsin Khan’s chairmanship, have also rested senior players Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Abdur Rehman for the tour in which Pakistan will play one Test match, three ODIs and two Twenty20 games.
The selectors have also recalled all-rounder Sohail Tanvir, wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal and opener Imran Farhat, who all have missed the series against the West Indies.
Apart from resting senior players like Gul and Riaz, the PCB selectors have also dropped pacer Tanvir Ahmed, leg-spinner Abdul Rehman, opener Ahmad Shahzad and wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman from the team.
Former captain Shoaib Malik has also been picked as one of the six reserve players but his inclusion is subject to clearance from the PCB’s integrity committee.
Malik has been overlooked for national duty since playing his last Test against England in August 2010.
While naming the team, PCB chief selector, Mohsin Khan has said that senior players have not been dropped but rested for the series against Zimbabwe.
“We have a hectic schedule ahead of us and tougher series against Sri Lanka and England so the tour of Zimbabwe is the best platform for us to try out and see some new faces,” Mohsin said.
“We have decided to give the players who have done well in domestic cricket a chance to play in the national side to see how they adjust to top level cricket,” he stated.
The Pakistan squad will leave for Zimbabwe in last week of August.
Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Rameez Raja, Adnan Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Sohail Tanvir, Sohail Khan, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema.