Pakistani selectors have finally decided to include ace pace man Shoaib Akhtar in the one day international squad that is to play the Asia cup in a month from now. The move by the Pakistani board basically signifies that the soon to turn 35 year old is still in their sights as far as the 2011 fifty over world cup is concerned which is to be played in the wee months of 2011.
Pakistani selectors have understood that Shoaib could be a major asset and his slingy action could help reverse swing on the dry wickets of the Indian subcontinent. The man with his raw pace could ruffle the batsman thus sending jitters in the opposing dressing room before the game would begin.
Chief selector Mohsin Khan said “We got an okay from the medical team and Shoaib was given a good report so he has been picked”. For a change it appears that the Pakistani selectors have decided to do away with the off field issues and have focussed more on cricket i.e. to pick their best squad for the Asia cup looking forward to the world cup next year.
Another Shoaib, recently married Malik has been added to the squad as well as he had his ban lifted as a ‘wedding gift’. Shoaib Malik’s inclusion in spite of lack of competitive cricket in recent times is a strong indicator that the PCB is going back to their more trusted blokes to bring back the cup next year in Pakistan.
It is very evident what the Pakistan cricket board wants to achieve with such a move. As a result of this Fawad alam the young Pakistani all rounder has lost his place in the side in spite of being the stand outs in the one day series down under earlier this year.
Recent news suggests that former Pakistan captain Younis khan’s ban has also been revoked. Younis also suggested that he would gladly take over captaincy of the team if given the opportunity to do so.
These are very big moves by a very volatile Pakistan cricket board and such things can only happen in Pakistan cricket. Nevertheless, for me these are positive moves as Pakistan look to build a strong core squad before the world cup to begin next year.