Pakistan announced their 15-man World Cup squad on Wednesday, leaving out Fawad Alam and Umar Gul and including pace bowler Sohail Khan who last played international cricket in 2011.
Veteran batsman Younis Khan, who hit a purple patch in Test cricket but was mediocre in the recent ODIs against New Zealand, was also included in the squad.
Left-hand middle-order batsman Fawad Alam, who has been Pakistan’s most reliable ODI batsman of late, will feel unlucky to have missed out, the selectors instead preferring another player in similar mould, Haris Sohail.
PCB names Team Pakistan for ICC World Cup 2015
Moin Khan: ‘Squad capable of excelling in the World Cup’
Chairman PCB Shaharyar Mohammad Khan has approved Pakistan’s 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 after it was picked up by the six-member selection committee headed by Moin Khan after consultations with head coach Waqar Younis and skipper Misbah ul Haq.
“This is the best possible squad from the available resources, and the selectors believe it has the requisite talent and skill-set to recapture the World Cup Down Under after 22 years”, said chief selector Moin Khan.
Following is the 15-man Pakistan cricket team for the ICC World Cup 2015 to be played in Australia/New Zealand from February 14 to March 29. The squad contains two openers, four middle order batsmen, five pace bowlers, one spinner, two all-rounders and a wicket-keeper/batsman. The accent, said Moin Khan, has been on preferring specialists over bits and pieces players.
15 – Member Squad
1. Ahmed Shehzad
2. Ehsan Adil
3. Mohammad Hafeez
4. Haris Sohail
5. Mohammad Irfan
6. Junaid Khan
7. Misbah ul Haq (captain)
8. Sarfraz Ahmed (w.k)
9. Shahid Afridi
10. Sohaib Maqsood
11. Sohail Khan
12. Umar Akmal
13. Wahab Riaz
14. Yasir Shah
15. Younis Khan
Manager: Naveed Akram Cheema; Head Coach: Waqar Younis; Batting Coach: Grant Flower; Spin Bowling Coach: Mushtaq Ahmed; Fielding Coach/Trainer: Grand Luden; Physiotherapist: Brad Robinson; Assistant Manager: Shahid Aslam; Media Manager: Agha Akbar; Security officer: Col. (Retd) Muhammad Azam Khan; Analyst: Talha Butt
Quotes – Chief Selector Moin Khan:
“This is the best possible squad from the available resources, and the selectors collectively believe it has the requisite talent and skill-set to recapture the World Cup Down Under after 22 years.
‘’My request to all Pakistanis is to back the national team in its quest for glory.
“Four factors were of prime import for selectors: Suitability to play in conditions in Australia and New Zealand; performance in international contests; performance in domestic cricket and preference to the choices suggested by captain and head coach, Team Pakistan.
“Of the selected squad of 15, eight have played in the last World Cup, while the remaining seven have been picked after their recent form impressed the selectors. This makes it a pretty decent blend of experience and youth.
“Despite a recent poor run of form in limited-overs cricket, in my mind, there’s no doubt on the capability of this side to excelling in the World Cup.
“It indeed is a formidable unit, with the potential and natural flair to perform well at the ICC’s premier global showpiece event. And if the boys hit form individually and as combinations and peak at the right time, this bunch has the capacity to go all the way to the winners’ podium.”
To fine-tune preparations for the global event, PCB has decided to organize a short training camp for Team Pakistan, which has been scheduled from Jan. 13, 2015 to Jan. 17, 2015 at the Gaddafi stadium, Lahore.
Team Pakistan will embark from Lahore on Jan. 21, 2015 for New Zealand via Dubai for the two-match ODI series against the Black Caps before flying over Tasman Sea to Sydney for its warmup games before moving on to Adelaide for its much-anticipated first World Cup 2015 encounter against India on Feb. 15.
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