Pakistan Cricket Board has announced the national team’s 15-man squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, scheduled to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March, 2015.
Former Captain, legendary wicket-keeper, and PCB’s present Chief Selector, Moin Khan, announced the 15-man strong team in a press conference. Other than the surprise inclusion of 30-year old international-rookie and fast bowler, Sohail Khan, the PCB has decided to exclude Kamran Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Umer Gul, and Shoaib Malik from the final 15-man squad.
Umer Gul, Pakistan’s strongest death-over bowler, has been struggling for form after recovering from his recent knee injury, the same reason leading to his surprise exclusion from the squad.
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Veteran Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Sohaib Maqsood, Harris Sohail, and Umar Akmal are included as middle-order batting specialists. Misbah-ul-Haq will retain his position as the captain of the team following his return from injury, while Sarfaraz Ahmed will take his rightful place behind the stumps.
Yasir Shah and Shahid Afridi are the only two spin options, following the bowling-ineligibility of Muhammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal’s ban. The pace attack includes Muhammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Ehsan Adil, and Sohail Khan.
The complete 15-man squad is as follows:
Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (w), Younis Khan, Harris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Ehsan Adil, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz