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Pakistan include Akmal

Wicketkeeper in preliminary World Cup squad after clearance confusion

Akmal: World Cup call

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Kamran Akmal has been included in Pakistan's preliminary 30-man World Cup squad, but Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria have been left out.

The announcement of the squad has twice been delayed as there was confusion over whether or not the trio of Akmal, Malik and Kaneria would be given clearance to play.

They have not been selected since the summer tour of England and have reportedly been under suspicion of spot-fixing by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Wicketkeeper Akmal recently co-operated with the PCB's integrity committee and has now been included, while former captain Malik, who also appeared before the PCB, and leg-spinner Kaneria are still absent.

"We are satisfied that we have selected the best squad from amongst the available players," chairman of selectors Mohsin Khan said

Decision

"The selection committee met on multiple occasions and only then decided on the names. I request the whole nation to back the selected players who need all the encouragement to win the World Cup."

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt added: "There is a lot of speculation in the media regarding the clearance or otherwise of players by the integrity committee of the PCB.

"The Integrity Committee has given its views on some players to the selection committee which has taken into consideration that input and has selected the 30 players for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011."

Mohammad Yousuf earns a place after falling out of favour in recent months due to fitness concerns, while Shahid Afridi is expected to retain the captaincy for the tournament.

Pakistan have been drawn in Group A alongside Australia, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Preliminary Pakistan squad for the World Cup:
Shahid Afridi (capt), Ahmed Shahzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Taufiq Umer, Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Naved Yasin, Kamran Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Salman Ahmed, Abdul Razzaq, Yasir Arafat, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Abdur Rehman, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Sohail Tanveer, Tanveer Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheama, Asad Ali.