Misbah dropped from New Zealand series

By Omar Khalid, IANS,

Karachi: Pakistan Thursday dropped senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq from their squad for the Test and limited-overs matches against New Zealand.

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Misbah, who was promoted as vice-captain in 2007 following impressive knocks in the inaugural World Twenty20 and tour of India, paid the price for his lack of form in the last couple of seasons.

National selectors, who met at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore Thursday, have recalled openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat.

Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said his committee voted for the return of Butt and Farhat to have specialist openers in the squad. Over the past few seasons, Pakistan has mostly been relying on make-shift openers without much success.

Also getting a place in the squad is Karachi youngster Khalid Latif, a hard-hitting batsman who has been rewarded for his prolific form on the domestic circuit.

Pakistan are scheduled to play three one-day internationals (Nov 3, 6 and 9) in Abu Dhabi besides two Twenty20 internationals (Nov 12 and 13) in Dubai. The series was supposed to be played in Pakistan but was relocated to UAE because of security concerns.

From Dubai, the Pakistan team will fly to New Zealand to play three Tests.

One-day Squad: Younis Khan (capt), Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Umer Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir, Rao Iftikhar, Wahab Riaz.

Twenty20 squad: Shahid Afridi (capt), Khalid Latif, Imran Nazir, Umer Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Umar Gul, Mohammad Aamir, Rao Iftikhar, Saeed Ajmal, Imran Farhat, Fawad Alam, Sohail Tanveer.

Test squad: Younis Khan (capt), Khurrum Manzoor, Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamir, Abdur Rauf, Umer Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed.