LAHORE: Pakistan recalled wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal, all-rounderAbdul Razzaq and opener Imran Nazir in their 15-man squad Tuesday for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
Kamran, 30, was cleared by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) integrity committee last week after his name was mentioned at the trial in England last year of three Pakistani Test players over spot-fixing allegations.
Kamran last played for Pakistan in May last year in the semi-final of the World Cup against India at Mohali, a match India won by 29 runs, and said he was delighted to return to the fold.
“I am very happy to be back in the team and I will do my best to help the team win the World Twenty20,” he said.
Razzaq, 32, last played against Sri Lanka in November 2011 but said he hoped to carry his good form from the English T20 season into the 12-team tournament, which runs from September 18 to October 7.
Mohammad Hafeez will lead the team after replacing Misbah-ul Haq — who also lost his place in the T20 side — in May. Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said the final squad was decided after thorough consultation between the selection committee, Hafeez and coach Dav Whatmore.
“We have selected the best possible squad after consultation and this Pakistan team has the capacity to win the World Twenty20,” Qasim told AFP.
Pakistan, runners-up in the inaugural Twenty20 in 2007 and winners in 2009, are placed in group D of the event, alongside Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Qasim defended recalling Razzaq and Nazir.
“They are brilliant players and have experience of international cricket so we have given them another chance,” said Qasim, also backing out-of-form pacemen Mohammad Sami and Umar Gul.
“Gul and Sami are experienced campaigners and their form may be in question but they have class and with their experience can deliver,” said Qasim.
The squad also includes 20-year-old uncapped left-arm spinner in Raza Hasan.
Left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed also returned to the squad after being withdrawn from the limited-over squad for the Sri Lanka tour in May due to a finger injury.
The squad announced on Tuesday will also play three T20s against Australia in the United Arab Emirates in early September.
The two sides also meet for three one-day internationals in late August and Pakistan will announce their squad for these games later.
Squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanveer, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami