KARACHI: Pakistan on Friday recalled explosive middle-order batsman Umar Akmal for its forthcoming Twenty20 series against the West Indies, five months after axing him on disciplinary grounds.
The 26-year-old has taken on the mantle of Pakistan’s enfant terrible and has been involved in a number of on and off-field disciplinary breaches, the latest being a scuffle with a traffic policeman in Lahore last year.
He was dropped after being heavily criticised in a post-mortem report written by head coach Waqar Younis in the aftermath of the World Twenty20 held in India in April this year, where Pakistan crashed out in the first round.
He was recalled after assuring the Pakistan Cricket Board he would mend his ways, and after a string of whirlwind knocks including a 48-ball 115 not out, an 81 and a 75 in the ongoing National Twenty20 event in Faisalabad.
But there were no recalls for opener Ahmed Shahzad, also dropped on disciplinary grounds who suffered a back problem in the tournament.
Another opener Mohammad Hafeez was also left out after he returned home mid-way through the one-day series in England with calf and knee injuries.
Also recalled are allrounder Saad Nasim and paceman Rumman Raees. Left-arm paceman Raees has been included in Pakistan’s Twenty20 squads twice year but had to withdraw with injuries each time.
Wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side, having made his captaincy debut for Pakistan in a nine-wicket win over England in Manchester on Wednesday.
Pakistan and West Indies play the first two Twenty20 matches in Dubai on September 23 and 24 followed by the third in Abu Dhabi on September 27.
Pakistan will also play three one-day internationals and as many Tests against the West Indies in UAE, for which squads will be announced later.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Saad Nasim, Rumman Raees. – AFP