Pakistan drops Akmal for Asia Cup

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Lahore, Jun 19 (UNI) A series of recent poor performances cost wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal dear as he was dropped by the Pakistan selectors today for the upcoming Asia Cup that begins from June 24.

The selectors omitted Akmal from a list of 20 probables who will attend a short training camp, from which a 15-member squad will be named for the Asia Cup in Pakistan.

India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong are the other teams taking part.

This was the first time that Akmal has been dropped from the team after being ever-present since 2004, although, he was rested for three one-day games last year in which the selectors tried out young keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

''Kamran remains our number one keeper but we also wanted to give chances to others and we felt Kamran also deserved to take a well deserved rest,'' chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed told mediapersons today.

The 26-year-old Akmal, who has played in 38 Tests and 88 one-dayers, has been told to get over an extended period of inconsistent form behind the stumps.

Pakistan's final squad will be named on June 22.

However, there were no surprises in the list of probables for the tournament with pacer Mohammad Asif not to take part as he remains in detention in Dubai on suspicion of carrying illegal drugs.

Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (Capt), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Fawad Alam, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Asad Rauf, Yasir Hameed, Bazid Khan, Mansoor Amjad, Naumanullah, Saeed Ajmal.

UNI XC RAR AB ND1644

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