Islamabad - Lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan was recalled Friday to the 16-man
Pakistan squad for the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka starting
later this month.
The 33-year-old, the tallest international cricketer ever at seven feet one
inch (2.16 metres), injured his hip at the World Cup in March, forcing him to
miss Pakistan's crucial quarter-final against eventual champions and co-hosts
But Irfan's return still does not guarantee a full-strength Pakistan pace
attack, as partner Wahab Riaz missed out with a bowling hand injury sustained
during the second Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo last week.
Also ruled out of the series was spinning all-rounder Haris Sohail, who
injured his knee on the tour of Sri Lanka, missing all three Tests.
After completing treatment Irfan is champing at the bit, chief selector
Haroon Rasheed said.
"Irfan has completed a rehab and is raring to go," said Rasheed.
"Unfortunately Riaz, Sohail and Sohaib Maqsood were not available for
selection due to injuries."
Riaz will continue to be monitored by a medical panel to see if he could be
available for the last two matches, said Rasheed.
Newcomers Mukhtar Ahmed and Bilal Asif were included in the one-day team for
the first time.
"Mukhtar has shown tremendous improvement while Asif has also shown
that he is a powerful hitter and also a handy off-spinner,' said Rasheed.
Mukhtar, 22, has played three Twenty20 internationals this year while Asif,
29, scored a hundred in the final of a non-first class domestic tournament in
Missing from the squad are batsman Umar Akmal and paceman Junaid Khan.
Junaid played the first two Tests of the ongoing series in Sri Lanka but made
Spinning all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez was selected despite his action having
been reported for a second time last week. He will undergo a test on his action
on July 6 but can still bowl until the result of his test is announced.
But Saeed Ajmal, struggling with his remodelled action since April this
year, was again left out.
Pakistan need to win the Sri Lanka series to have any chance of qualifying
for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England.
Pakistan are currently ninth in the one-day rankings and need to move up a
place in order to play the Champions Trophy.
The five-match series starts in Dambulla on July 11. The remaining matches
will be held in Pallekele (July 15), Colombo (July 19 and 22) and Hambantota
Pakistan will also play two Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka for which a
squad will be announced later.
Azhar Ali (captain), Mukhtar Ahmed, Ahmed Shezad, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad
Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir
Shah, Bilal Asif, Immad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil,