Pakistan have named Shoaib Akhtar in the 15-man squad for the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Canada, but there was no room for Mohammad Yousuf following problems over his Canadian visa.
"We have included Akhtar after clearance from the PCB and hope that he delivers the goods in the tournament," chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed said. Akhtar, 33, was selected after the board softened its stance on a demand he pay an outstanding fine of Rs 7 million (approx US$105,000) for his criticism of not being awarded a central contract. He was initially banned by the PCB for five years, but the sentence had been reduced to 18 months by an appellate tribunal in June.
Yousuf, who was not part of Pakistan's squad for the ICC World Twenty20 last year, was a late inclusion among the probables for the Toronto tournament. He was unimpressive in his first two games in Pakistan's ongoing domestic Twenty20 tournament, scoring 15 runs, but Shafqat Naghmi, the PCB's chief operating officer, said he would have been included if not for the problems over his visa.
The squad includes allrounders Shahid Afridi, whose form has been woeful of late, and Fawad Alam, who performed well on the Academy tour to Zimbabwe and Kenya. Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal returns after being dropped for the Asia Cup in June-July, replacing Sarfraz Ahmed. Rookie fast bowler Anwar Ali, 23, and opener Shoaib Khan have also earned maiden call-ups. Khalid Latif, an opener who played one ODI against Zimbabwe in the home series in January, gets a look-in.
Pakistan Twenty20 squad
Shoaib Malik (capt), Salman Butt, Shoaib Khan, Khalid Latif, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Fawad Alam, Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan, Abdur Rauf