Pakistan have dropped stylish batsman Ahmed Shehzad from the 15-man squad announced on Wednesday (February 10) for the upcoming 2016 Asia Cup in Bangladesh and ICC World Twenty20 in India in March-April.Shehzad faced the axe after a prolonged run of poor scores. The 24-year-old opener scored a total of 58 runs in five outings on Pakistan’s recent tour to New Zealand. While Umar Gul and Sohaib Maqsood have also been snubbed, in a surprise inclusion, the selectors have named uncapped left-arm seamer Rumman Raees in the 15-man unit. “While picking the squad, the team management and skipper were consulted by the selectors, and all concerned gave their consent in this regard,” Haroon Rasheed, chief selector, said. “The T20 team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions during Asia cup and World T20 and the recent performances of some players in domestic and A Team tours. The team is a fine blend of experience and youth and the selectors believe that team will do well in both tournaments.” Batsmen Khurram Manzoor and Babar Azam, and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz are the other three uncapped players who will fly to India for the ICC show-piece event. Maverick all-rounder Shahid Afridi will lead the team.The 2009 champions play their opener against a yet-to-be-decided qualifier in Kolkata on March 16. Pakistan squad: Shahid Afridi (c), Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Khurram Manzoor, Rumman Raees.
2015 Kashmir Despatch