Akmal and Razzaq dropped from West Indies tour

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Associated Press

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 3:35 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 6 at 4:01 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan cricket selectors on Wednesday dropped wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal and allrounder Abdul Razzaq for this month's one-day series against the West Indies.

Akmal was heavily criticized for his poor wicketkeeping after dropping several crucial catches and missed stumpings during the World Cup, in which Pakistan was beaten by India in the semifinals.

Razzaq took only five wickets and made 104 runs in eight World Cup games.

"At the moment there's no place for Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal in the team," chief selector Mohsin Khan told reporters.

Pakistan will play one Twenty20 match, five one-day internationals and two test matches against the West Indies. The series begins at St. Lucia on Apr. 21 with a Twenty20 game.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement that the squad for two test matches, starting May 12, will be announced later.

Khan said fast bowler Umar Gul and former captain Younis Khan were rested for the first leg of the tour, but didn't say whether the duo will return for the two test matches.

Gul had already informed the PCB that he needed some rest after the World Cup.

The selectors have included rookie wicketkeeper Mohammad Salman, middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin, fast bowler Aizaz Cheema and allrounder Hammad Azam in the 16-member squad.

Left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan, who could not get a chance in the World Cup, was also included in the team.

"We want to try out few youngsters and that's why we have picked those players who have performed outstandingly in the domestic circuit," Khan said.

Captain Shahid Afridi also wanted seniors to be rested and youngsters be given an opportunity.

"Young players should be given chance and if they are capable to grab the place of experienced player why not," Afridi told reporters.

Surprisingly selectors retained opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad, who scored only 44 runs in five World Cup games before he was dropped from the last three matches.

Test opener Taufiq Umar has been recalled in the one-day team after more than six years. The left-handed opening batsman has scored 447 runs in 19 ODIs but last played a 50-over international against Australia in 2005 before he was sidelined.

The five-match one-day international series will be played at St. Lucia (Apr. 23 and 25), Barbados (Apr. 28 and May 1) and Guyana (May 5).

First test will be played at Guyana (May 12-16) with St. Kitts hosting the second test (May 20-24).

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Pakistan Squad:

Shahid Afridi (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Taufiq Umar, Usman Salahuddin, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Tanvir Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam, Aizaz Cheema, Mohammad Salman.

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