The absence of international cricket has allowed most of Pakistan's big names to represent their respective domestic teams in the upcoming Pentangular ODI Cup. Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq have been picked to lead Sind Dolphins, NWFP Panthers, Federal Areas Leopards, Punjab Stallions and Baluchistan Bears in this year's one-day tournament.
Most of the big names played in the four-day version of the Pentangular Cup, though Misbah and Gul only came back for the final, to lead Baluchistan and NWFP respectively. The one name missing though, is Younis Khan, who is playing for South Australia.
The series, to be held from December 15-26 in Karachi and Lahore, will provide the likes of Yasir Hameed, Sohail Khan, Yasir Arafat, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez with an opportunity to impress the national selectors.
Pace bowler Abdur Rauf, who took ten wickets in the Pentangular Cup final after returning from national duty against West Indies in Abu Dhabi, will look to boost Baluchistan's bid for silverware this season, after narrowly missing out against NWFP in the finals of the four-day version. Jamshed, the opener who missed the ODI series against West Indies due to fever, has found a place in the Punjab team while his replacement, Khurram Mansoor is in the Sind squad.
Legspinner Yasir Shah, who took 6 for 87 in Baluchistan's second innings to help NWFP maintain their unbeaten run in the four-day version, has been named as a reserve.
While Lahore will host the opening match between Punjab and Federal Areas, the remaining Pentangular ODI Cup fixtures will be played in Karachi. A round-robin format will see the top two teams contest the final, to be played in Karachi as well.
Sind Dolphins: Shahid Afridi (capt), Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Asif Zakir, Naumanullah, Faisal Iqbal, Rizwan Ahmed, Fawad Alam, Azam Hussain, Faisal Athar, Sohail Khan, Anwar Ali, Tanvir Ahmed, Fahad Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk). Reserves: Farhan Ayub, Farhan Iqbal (wk).
NWFP Panthers: Umar Gul (capt), Yasir Hameed, Raffatullah Mohmand, Asad Shafiq, Aftab Alam, Wajid Ali, Aamir Sajjad, Adnan Raees, Shakeel-ur-Rehman, Samiullah Niazi, Nawaz Ahmed, Khurram Shahzad, Mohammad Aslam Qureshi, Zulfiqar Jan (wk), Akbar Badshah. Reserves: Junaid Khan, Yasir Shah.
Federal Areas Leopards: Shoaib Akhtar (capt), Raheel Majeed, Umair Khan, Baber Naeem, Umer Ameen, Usman Saeed, Bazid Khan, Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Saeed Ajmal, Afaq Raheem, Fiaz Ahmed, Immad Wasim, Naeem Anjum (wk). Reserves: Mohammad Salman (wk), Aqeel Ahmed.
Punjab Stallions: Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Azhar Ali, Umer Akmal, Adnan Raza, Mansoor Amjad, Mohammad Talha, Junaid Zia, Wahab Riaz, Abdul Rehman, Sarfraz Ahmed, Kamran Younis, Kamran Akmal (wk). Reserves: Adnan Akmal (wk), Sohail Ahmed.
Baluchistan Bears: Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Khan snr, Hammad Tariq, Saeed Bin Nasir, Saeed Anwar jnr, Abdur Rauf, Kamran Hussain, Gulraiz Sadaf (wk), Nazar Hussain, Yasir Ali, Usman Arshad, Danish Kaneria, Khaqan Arsal, Fahad Iqbal. Reserves: Usman Tariq, Faisal Irfan.