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Irfan gets Test nod after impressive India series


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pakistan south africa test series, pakistan's tour of south africa, pakistan south africa tests, pakistan south africa, ehsan adil, sarfaraz ahmed, haris sohail, ohammad irfan, pakistan india t20 series, pakistan's tour of india, irfan, pakistan india odi series
The sight of Irfan running to bowl at Hashim Amla would no doubt make for great viewing but can the lanky left-armer go the distance in Tests? -Photo by AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan on Friday included lanky paceman Mohammad Irfan in a 16-man squad for next month's three Tests against world number one side South Africa, but there was no place for the three Akmal brothers.

The 30-year-old Irfan, who is said to be seven foot one inch tall, impressed with his steepling bounce during Pakistan's recent tour to India where he featured in all three one-day matches and two Twenty20 internationals.

But he has yet to play a Test.

The Test squad, led by Misbah-ul Haq, will open with a four-day side match at East London from January 25 before the first Test in Johannesburg from February 1.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said separate squads for two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day matches, which follow the Tests, will be announced later.

Surprisingly, none of the three Akmal brothers - Kamran, Umar and Adnan - are part of the Test squad and no selector was available to say why.

Adnan has been a regular in Pakistan's Test squad as specialist wicket-keeper. Although he was injured during Pakistan's tour of Sri Lanka last June he played in the ongoing first class season. He is replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed.

Nineteen-year-old paceman Ehsan Adil was also selected for the first time after impressing during the Junior World Cup in Australia last year. Adil has taken 56 wickets in ten first-class matches this season.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman also returns to the squad after being banned for a failed dope test during the county season in England last year. He will partner the wily off-spinner Saeed Ajmal.

The pace squad will be led by the experienced Umar Gul, Junaid Khan and Irfan.

Uncapped left-hander Haris Sohail and Faisal Iqbal also retained their places in the squad after failing to play any match on the Sri Lanka tour while left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed, who has yet to play a Test, also made the cut.

Will Pakistan play Jamshed or Taufeeq or both?

Squad: Misbah-ul Haq (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Ehsan Adil, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman, Haris Sohail, Faisal Iqbal, Taufeeq Umar.

Itinerary: Jan 25-28 vs SA invitation XI at East London Feb 1-5 Ist Test at Johannesburg Feb 14-18 Second Test Cape Town Feb 22-26 Third Test Centurion March 1 Ist Twenty20 at Durban March 3 Second T20 at Centurion March 6 SA invitation XI side match at Kimberley March 10 Ist one-day international at Bloemfontein March 15 Second one-day international at Centurion March 17 Third one-day international at Johannesburg March 21 Fourth one-day international at Durban March 24 Fifth one-day international at Benoni

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Comments (39) Closed

Rafi Jan 11, 2013 02:32pm
Why should the Akma
Jawwad Jan 11, 2013 06:49pm
How much you want to bet his career is over after South Africa tour? Frankly, this is what administration is hoping for due to room full of back ups in fast bowling.
EmMoosa Jan 11, 2013 02:39pm
Don't be so much happy. One or two Akmals will be in other squads. They have special connections with mafia particularly Rameez Raja who always uses the mic to praise them.
Shazzy Jan 11, 2013 02:40pm
great to see Faisal Iqbal in the squad! Hope he's in the XI
Adnan Jan 11, 2013 02:33pm
Akmals ka roll huwa Kambal
Imtiaz Sheikh Jan 11, 2013 05:59pm
I am not sure about Sarfraz's inclusion in the team, he is neither a good keeper or a decent batsman. ( can some tell me where he had performed?). He scored 6 in one test he played, he scored a total of 176 in 23 ODIs. I think we have been trying to replace Kamran with the wrong keeper/batsman. Looking at the current form of Kamran's keeping, he look pretty decent to me. ( remember Kholi's catch down the leg side in recent Indian tour, I think that is among the one of the best catches by any keeper). I heard he has been working very hard to rectify his technique and don't forget his batting abilities. Recently in BPL he was just to much for the bowlers. give him a break" :)
Mushtaq Ahmad Jan 11, 2013 03:52pm
Who is Faisal iqbal ?------Is he the one who is related to Javeed miandad ? If yes- then God help Pakistan-------We never learn
Imran Jan 11, 2013 04:43pm
I always wondered why Rameez Raja always praises the Akmals. Finally a team on merit. I do not know Faisal Iqbal performance but I think the coach has a lot to do with the team selection and performance
AB Jan 11, 2013 02:16pm
Thank GOD no Akmal in this squad!
Faisal Jan 11, 2013 05:22pm
What ever happened to Anwar Ali, he didn't get a chance in the India tour even though we had locked the series after the second ODI. I feel he should be played and give a fair chance to perform.
Cover Drive Jan 11, 2013 05:16pm
Faisal Iqbal and Taufeeq Umar will warm benches, and if any of the two make the cut to the playing XI then Asad Shafiq will carry the towels.
Capt C M Khan Jan 11, 2013 04:43pm
Great news... why they did not do this before Indian Tour???
Ali Jan 11, 2013 03:02pm
Alhamdulillah for no Akmals!!!!!! Hope Sarfraz performs really well and replaces Kamran Akmal in all formats! Umer Akmal also needs to be shown the door until he stops taking his place in the quad for granted and stops playing like an irresponsible 16 year old! it was pathetic to see him snatch and run away with the India series cup as if he was the top performer on that tour. loser!
Ekone Jan 11, 2013 02:56pm
Thank God no Umar Akmal.
Ali Jan 11, 2013 02:53pm
Finally my wish is granted by not including Umer Akmal.
Shahid mahmood Jan 11, 2013 05:02pm
Its called Pakistan culture. It is where Adnan Khawja, a matriculate servent of Gilani's jail term becomes chairman of OGDCL, It is where every one related to some one gets a post. Faisal Iqbal, nephew of Javed Miandad Dawood, with 26 tests (average 26) 18 ODIs (average 22) age 32, having been awarded 17 different come backs in last 12 years, is again been selected for his 18th come back. He is prefered to Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam and a number of talented youngesters like Usman Sallahuddin and Naved Yasin. Can some one answer why?? Why Adnan Akmal is not selected when he scored decently in last test and now has just scored 3 consective 80 scores and in currunt QT has an average of 122. Reason being given is that he is unfit :-) while he is in the middle of a first class match. Is it full black out for Akmals for the reasons coming out of the third test??
Karachi Wala Jan 11, 2013 04:57pm
It is better to pad Miandad instead.
hassan Jan 11, 2013 10:25pm
he is already 25 years old, why not giving him a chance and groom his talent, i guess time for afridi razzaq misbah and akmals to leave for good
Rizman Jan 12, 2013 02:04am
@imran u r dead on about R raja ............. akmal bro r useless umer akmal 71 odi one hundred pls after that u can tell if ?
Omar Jan 12, 2013 02:49am
Faisal Iqbal,hahahahaha. The guy is useless even on dead pitches of India and you think he has a chance against South Africa. Besides we all know why he is in the team.For people who think that i am wrong , check out his average and S/R at
Omar Jan 12, 2013 02:50am
This is Pakistan, where the Sun may someday rise from the West but our corruption and hera pheeri will never change it's course. Viva Mamoo-Bhanja alliance, LOL
JJ Jan 12, 2013 02:52am
Have you seen sarfraz bat? He is not the answer, although we do need a substitution for Akmal.
kamal Jan 12, 2013 02:53am
Is that you javed miandad? LOL
Junaid Jan 12, 2013 02:54am
Akmal bahar, Faisal ander, this is revolving door of hera pheri.
Moiz Jan 12, 2013 03:04am
Faisal Iqbal's Test Average :In 26 tests 26.76 ____One day Average 18 matches 22.42 and pathetic S/R of 60.50. How can anyone justify this stooges inclusion on merit? Unless you are related to the ever attached to PCB Javed Miandad, this lad would not even make top 50.
Badshah Jan 12, 2013 03:26am
Folks can blame the Akmals, but Umer has the skills and is the best fielder in the team. Faisal Iqbal and Taufeeq Umer?!?!?! U. Akmal can play better than both of them with his hands tied behind his back. Where is Anwar Ali!!!!!!!!!!!!! PCB is destroying this poor boy. Whichever selectors are appointed, they all make the same mistake, keep on the oldies and keep the youngsters OUT. My prediction for the test matches 2-0 in S. Africa
Nazir K Ali Jan 12, 2013 04:33am
Not selecting the controversial Akmal brothers is the wisest decision of the PCB. Hail. Selecting the Karachi wicket keeper, Sarfaraz Ahmed, is another dynamic choice. The social etiquettes of the players need improvement like a software upgrade. No shame in that. In addition, the grimaces and gestures of jubilation on taking a wicket must be moderated. Salams and good luck on the bouncy RSA wickets.
Muhammad Daud Alam Jan 12, 2013 06:30am
Oh Buddy !!!....your comments sooth my heart... !!!!
nayyar51 Jan 12, 2013 06:38am
I think Hammad Azam should have been a better choice in place of Faisal Iqbal (a nephew of DG PCB Javaid Maindad) who has been given scores of chances without any result. Moreover, mark my words, Faisal Iqbal is particularly, repeat particularly going to be the biggest failure, on the South African Soil. However, if at all Hammad Azam doesn't succeed in this tour, still it will be a good investment in future. Moreover, this young bloke must not be labelled ONLY as an ODI or T20 player. This is an absolutely wrong perception about Hammad Azam.
Najma Rafique Ansari Jan 12, 2013 07:16am
Good to know Akmal Bros. are out.
Ali Raza Jan 12, 2013 07:23am
You will see, they (Akmal Brothers) will come back strongly, as usual. and What about that wicket keeper who run away due to these brothers, what was his name. He should be given one more chance,
Bbbb Jan 12, 2013 08:16am
We need a wicket keeper, let the batsmen do their job. We need masters of at least one trade, not the jacks of all, the things fishy.
Ali Khan Jan 12, 2013 09:47am
Finally!!!!!!!!!Umer and Kamran Akmal join Afridi on the bench.Thank you.No more chances for any of them unless they a consistent run of good performances in 1st class for a season or two. Sad about little Adnan Akmal though,but if improves his batting a little then he should return.
Rehan Jan 12, 2013 09:47am
Great and Bold move by PCB for not including Akmals in the squad. Hope and pray that policy continues in future. Good Luck to Sarfraz.......
Ali Khan Jan 12, 2013 09:52am
I too wondered about Ramiz Raja'a dubious praise for Umer Akmal all the time. As if Raja is watching a match different to all the rest of the Pakistanis in which Umer Akmal is playing match winning innings all the time for the last 4 years. Looking back I cant remember a single knock that he has played to win a game for Pakistan.
usman Jan 12, 2013 11:39am
have you lost ur mind, on what basis do you want to see faisal in the Xl
Syed Jan 12, 2013 12:39pm
On fast wickets you need a pace attack, Anwar should have been included, what if one of the paceman is injured and can't bowl no more? who is going to replace him? do selector ever have a Plan B on such tours?
Oz Jan 12, 2013 01:46pm
Thank God the curse of Akmals is gone, atleast for this test series. Asad shafiq is a recognised wicket keeper and opener in domestic, but when he gets selected, he is placed at positions that he isn't used to. But he does makes useful runs, even though not big....I think we should play him as a Wicketkeeper and remove Sarfaraz, because his standard has not improved considering the amount of chances he had been given. Finally, as this will create room for one more person, include Usman Salahuddin as he is the best batting talent getting wasted in domestic circuit. For heaven sake, his batting average is over 78 ?? Please PCB, give him a chance. Also, Younis Khan is great but we need young players.
aziz ahmed Jan 13, 2013 01:42am
There is news of rift among the selectors and the captain of the Pakistan cricket team over the selection of Sarfaraz Ahmed and Faisal Iqbal. Faisal was selected on recomendation by Javed miandad as he is the director of PCB. But Sarfaraz seledction is justified as he gave excellent performance in domestic cricket. When will a team will be selected simply on merit. Every chairman, selector, captain and coach say the same thing but there is always interference. The selectors didn't select Irfan and shoaib for the ODI but they were late inclusion because of their performance in t-20