Kamran, Malik summoned for T20, Alam for Asia Cup

Associated Press

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan summoned seemingly forgotten wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and allrounder Shoaib Malik on Friday for the World Twenty20 and recalled middle-order batsman Fawad Alam for the preceding Asia Cup.

Kamran will challenge his brother Umar for the wicketkeeping slot as the younger brother has been keeping wickets regularly since Kamran was dropped after the Champions Trophy last June.

Acting chief selector Azhar Khan said Malik has been included for his experience and Kamran has also impressed with his form in recent domestic tournaments.

Kamran was widely criticized for his poor wicketkeeping in internationals, but Khan said he could be utilized as an opening batsman for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next month.

"He's been picked as the third specialist opener in the team," Khan said. Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad are likely to form the first-choice opening pair. "We have selected experienced players for both tournaments."

Malik competed in the two T20s against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates in November but scored only 12 and 15 runs, and missed the return series in South Africa when a finger injury didn't heal in time.

Alam, the 28-year-old left-handed batsman, played the last of his 27 one-day internationals against South Africa in November 2010 but has forced his way back into the national team with good domestic form.

Fast bowler Umar Gul was also declared completely fit from his rght knee operation nine months ago, and was included in both squads to lead Pakistan's pace attack. He took seven wickets in the home ODI series against Sri Lanka in December.

Pakistan might miss 2.16-metre (7-foot-1) fast bowler Mohammad Irfan in both the major events after he was declared unfit by the medical board, Khan said.

Irfan injured his hip when he collapsed in his follow through during the limited-overs series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Irfan also underwent rehab with the national team in the UAE during the test series against Sri Lanka in January. But Khan said the medical board has advised him to regain full fitness over the next two months.

Pakistan has also included exciting fast bowlers Anwar Ali and Bilawal Bhatti for the Asia Cup while retaining the latter for the World Twenty20.

While Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Pakistan in the Asia Cup, he will not go to the World Twenty20, where Mohammad Hafeez will captain the team.

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Pakistan squads:

Asia Cup: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Talha

World Twenty 20: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Talha

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