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Shoaib ignored, Afridi back in Pak squad

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2009 00:16 IST

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Mercurial pacer Shoaib Akhtar was ignored, while all-rounder Shahid Afridi was today brought back into the 16-member squad for the one-day series in Bangladesh as Pakistan cricket tried to get back to normalcy after the terror strikes in Lahore.

Chief selector Abdul Qadir said Shoaib had been overlooked for the tour because the selectors were not sure about his fitness and form as he had pulled out of the Sri Lanka Test series with a knee injury.

But Shoaib had made himself available, saying that doctors had advised him against surgery and that his knee could be healed with medication.

"I had asked Shoaib to play a first class match to prove his fitness which he didn't for some reason. So we didn't consider him," Qadir said.

The Pakistani selectors recalled Afridi, pacer Sohail Tanvir and opener Nasir Jamshed for the one-day series starting from March 10.

Just a day after the deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team bus near the Gaddafi stadium, which injured six of the visiting players and one assistant coach, Qadir announced that three new faces had been included for the tour to Bangladesh.

He said opener Ahmed Shahzad, leg spinner Yasir Shah and left arm pacer Mohammad Aamer had been picked in the side to provide cushion to the other players.

"Yasir is a very promising leg spinner and someone who can also bat and field well so we wanted to try him out," Qadir said.

Qadir said while the attack on the Sri Lankan team was most unfortunate and had shocked everyone in Pakistan, life had to go on.

Pakistan squad: Younis Khan (Capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Fawad Alam,Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Aamer, Yasir Arafat, Yasir Shah, Rao Iftikhar and Sarfaraz Ahmed.