Asif selected after close monitoring of selectors: Qasim

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Islamabad, Aug.22 (ANI): Supporting the selection committee's decision to bring back tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif into the national squad for the ICC Champions Trophy, chief selector Iqbal Qasim has said the decision to include Asif was taken only after a close monitoring of the bowler in the fitness camp.

Qasim said Asif has been made to go through a rigorous fitness test in which he performed satisfactorily.

"No doubt Asif has not played any first class cricket of late, but he has been playing club cricket and gone through a very tough fitness test under the supervision of Rashid Latif," quoted Qasim, as saying.

"I along with my fellow selectors watched him very closely bowling at the National Stadium Karachi during the training camp," he added.

Qasim said various factors were taken into consideration before the picking up the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy.

"Obviously when you are selecting a team for any tournament you always keep in mind the profile of the tournament, venue, weather, behavior of the pitches and bounce. All these factors were considered before final selection," he said.

The seven member selection committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday controversially recalled paceman Mohammad Asif and opener Imran Nazir, but axed all-rounder Abdul Razzaq from the squad for the next month's Champions Trophy in South Africa.

"There's no doubt in my mind that this is the best available team selected for the mega event," said Qasim .

Pakistan is placed in Group A of the eight-nation mega tournament to be held from September 20 to October 5.

Squad: Younus Khan (capt), Imran Nazir, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umer Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Rana Naved-ul Hasan, Fawad Alam, Moahmmad Yousuf, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir, Mohammad Asif, Rao Iftikhar and Saeed Ajmal.(ANI)

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