Opener Shahzaib Hussain likely to replace injured Arafat in Pak T20 squad

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Lahore, Apr.15 (ANI): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is likely to rope in young opener Shahzaib Hussain in place of all rounder Yasir Aarafat, who has been ruled out of the upcoming ICC T20 World Championship due to a calf injury.

"The team needs one more batsman and Shahzaib is the best choice," sources close to the team management said.

Interestingly, the West Indies bound Pakistan team already has many openers such as Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Khalid Latif and Kamran Akmal, but what is more surprising is that Shahzaib is being preferred while ignoring more experienced batsmen like Imran Nazir and Imran Farhat, who were in the list of 30 probables for the T20 tournament.

However, there has been no official comment from the PCB regarding Shahzaib's inclusion in the national squad, The Dawn reports.

Meanwhile, injured fast bowler Umar Gul is likely to be retained in the team, as the team management hopes that he would recover in time to help Pakistan defend the T20 title.

Team sources said that Gul needs almost six weeks to recover from the shoulder injury. Though he can bowl in a week's time, throwing the ball from a long distance may aggravate his injury.

Gul, Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in the previous two editions of the Twenty20 World Cup, had hurt his shoulder during a training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore earlier this month.

The 15-men Pakistan squad is scheduled to leave for the Caribbean from Lahore on April 24. (ANI)

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