Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Final Squad of Pakistan Cricket Team for World Cup 2011

Ahead of the ICC World Cup 2011, Pakistan Cricket Board announced the final squad which is consisting of 15 players. Selectors have chosen players based on their performance and fitness. Former Pakistani player, Mohsin Khan, was the head of the selectors. He announced the squad after getting list from Ijaz Butt, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board. The list of players is given below-

Pakistan squad for ICC World Cup 2011: Shahid Afridi, Misbahul Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal (wk), Younus Khan, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir and Ahmad Shahzad.

Selectors didn’t announce the name of captain and vice-captain in the final squad. It will be delayed to know the name of captain and his deputy for the upcoming tournament. It seems that selectors will announce captain’s name after the end of six-match New Zealand ODI series that will start from 22nd January 2011.

The speculation was that Misbah-ul-Haq would be seen leading the national cricket team. He successfully led Pakistan in the recently concluded two-match Test series that Pakistan won by 1-0. That is why, he has the possibility to get captaincy.

Selectors should not forget that Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to win the T20 World Cup in 2009.

Experienced batsman, Mohammad Yousuf, could not make his place in the final squad and this news surprised millions of Pakistani supporters. PCB Selectors dropped him when they announced the final squad for the World Cup being hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Mohammad Yousuf was one of the few senior players who were picked in the 30-man preliminary squad. But he failed to make his place in the final squad. Selectors put more faith on young players instead of him.

Until now, selectors didn’t disclose the reason of not selecting him in the World Cup squad. According to the sources’ statement, selectors found Mohammad Yousuf not fit to take part in this big cricket event.

However, Yousuf was unhappy for such decision. He said that it was very disappointing matter not to be picked despite being fit enough to play in the cricket tournament. Hi is now playing in domestic cricket.

Yousuf has been out of form. Shahid Afridi said that selectors should think about Yousuf and give him another chance to play for Pakistan in the upcoming tournament. Mohammad Yousuf is an experienced batsman and his experience will help Pakistan to make the middle order batting line up stronger.

Pakistan cricket team will have to travel without their two important bowlers- Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif. Selectors didn’t pick them in the squad as International Cricket Council (ICC) suspended them because of their allegation of spot-fixing during a Test match against England last year.

Because of their absence, Pakistan pace bowling line up will be weaker. So, cricket fans should expect that they will make their return to the national squad as soon as possible before the start of World Cup.

Another player who has been suspended by the ICC due to same reason is Salman Butt. His absence in the squad created a big void for Pakistan cricket team.

Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt have possibility to be included in the squad if they get clearance from ICC. Their fate will be decided on February 5 when an important decision will be taken.

However, selectors have taken Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir for the fast bowling option. They all are doing very well. Shoaib Akhtar is eagerly waiting to destroy the opponent team with his bowling speed. Umar Gul is expected to play an important role. He is a wicket-taking bowler. He can bowl in good line and length. Despite his good performance, fast bowler Tanvir Ahmad was dropped from the squad.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar will lead the pace attack that also includes Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir, with all-rounder Abdul Razzaq supplementing as a medium-pace bowler.

Despite the presence of Mohammad Hafeez, they have taken two other spinners- left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. Thinking about the condition of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, they have chosen two extra spinners.

Shahid Afridi is an important inclusion in this squad. He is an experienced all-round who can play aggressively with the bat and can put pressure over the opponent with the ball.

Another all-rounder is Abdul Razzaq. He is continuously performing well. He is a right-arm medium-pace bowler. Razzaq can play well in the lower-order position.

Who will make open with Mohammad Hafeez? It is heard that either Kamran Akmal or Ahmed Shahzad will be his partner for the opening position. Akmal brother, Umar Akmal, will be standing behind the wicket.

The middle order batting line up has been made up with the inclusion of Younis Khan, Misbahul Haq, Shahid Afridi and Asad Shafiq. Asad Shafiq has been taken in the place of Mohammad Yousuf. He has played well in a test series against New Zealand.