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Younis, Malik make a comeback

cricket Updated: May 26, 2010 00:52 IST

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Pakistan on Tuesday named banned former captains Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik in a preliminary 35-man squad for next month’s Asia Cup and tour of England.

The pair were banned in the wake of a disastrous tour of Australia, and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said they would only be included in the final squad if they were successful in their appeals against the sanctions. Pakistan will play in the four-nation Asia Cup in Sri Lanka from June 15-24, before going to England to play two T20 matches and two Tests against Australia and then four Tests, five one-dayers and two T20 games against England.

“We have promised to review the fines and bans on six of our top players, so the names of Younis and Malik will only be included in the final squad after a decision on their appeals,” said PCB chairman Ijaz Butt.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi was named captain for both the Asia Cup and the tour of England. Final squads for both the tours will be announced early next month, said Butt.

Butt assured a parliamentary committee on Monday that the bans and fines on the players will be reviewed “in the best interest of Pakistan cricket.”

Malik and Naved, also fined heavily, were penalised for discipline breaches. Naved, playing county cricket in England, did not make it to the squad.

Afridi and the Akmal brothers — Kamran and Umar — were also heavily fined for various discipline breaches.

Except for Yousuf, who retired from international cricket in protest, all six players appealed against the sanctions.

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria was also included in the initial squad despite his involvement in a police investigation into betting in Essex. Pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar was also included after he regained full fitness from a knee problem.

Preliminary squad: S Afridi (capt), S Butt, I Farhat, Y Hameed, K Manzoor, S Hasan, A Ali, A Ghuman, S Malik, Y Khan, K Akmal, U Akmal, F Iqbal, F Alam, H Raza, A Shafiq, U Ameen, A Sajjad, M Hafeez, A Razzaq, Y Arafat, U Gul, S Akhtar, M Asif, M Amir, M Sami, W Riaz, M Irfan, T Ahmed, A Cheema, D Kaneria, A Rehman, S Ajmal, Z Babar, Z Haider.