Pakistan retain Misbah as skipper for Asia Cup; Malik, Farhat dropped

Pakistan recently lost the ODI as well as T20 series against England, but the selectors have shown immense faith in skipper Misbah-ul-Haq Getty Images

Lahore: Mar 3, 2012

Senior batsman, Misbah-ul-Haq, was on Saturday retained as Pakistan captain for the upcoming Asia Cup, but the selectors have axed former skipper Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat and Adnan Akmal for the four-nation tournament.

The PCB announced a 15-member squad for the Asia Cup with the selectors recalling opener Nasir Jamshed and wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed for the tournament that starts on March 11.

Newly-appointed chief selector, Iqbal Qasim said the team had been picked on merit and Nasir and Sarfaraz have been recalled because of their recent performances in domestic cricket.

“Since we have little time for the Asia Cup we have picked the best possible side and hopefully this will deliver in the event,” Qasim said.

There were calls for the board to remove Misbah from the captaincy after Pakistan lost the recently-concluded ODI and T20 series to England in UAE.

Misbah is battling an inconsistent form and has also been criticised for his defensive captaincy in the shorter format of the sport.

The PCB has already decided to replace interim coach, Mohsin Khan with Australian Dav Whatmore and an announcement to this effect is expected later on Saturday.

The exclusions of Malik, Farhat and wicketkeeper Adnan were on the cards as their selections had raised questions during the series in the UAE.

Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury. (PTI)

Pakistan squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Aizaz Cheema.