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Announcement of World Cup probables deferred

LAHORE: After two-day meetings of the selection committee announcement of the 2011 World Cup probables and a 15-member Pakistan squad for the ODI series against New Zealand was on Wednesday deferred until next week, mainly due to the clearance issues of some players.

Announcement of World Cup probables deferredThe Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) issued on Wednesday a news release regarding deferment of the squads, saying: “A meeting of the selection committee was held today [on Wednesday] at the PCB headquarters in which the squad for the ODI series in New Zealand and names of 30 probables for the 2011 World Cup came under discussion.

“A meeting of the Integrity Committee was also held with [PCB chairman] Ijaz Butt in the chair. Other members of the Integrity Committee — Subhan Ahmed (COO), Justice (r) Jamshed Ali, Mohsin Khan (chief selector), Zakir Khan (Director Cricket Operations International), Sultan Rana (Director Cricket Operations Domestic), Col. Wasim (Security Manager/ Integrity Officer) and Tafazzul Rizvi Advocate (Special Invitee) — attended the meeting.

“All the issues relating to the clearance of players came under discussion. The Committee decided that further consideration of this matter is required. The ODI squad for New Zealand series and that [preliminary] for the 2011 World Cup will be announced at a later date.”

Though the news release did not mention the name of such players, whose clearance is yet to be received, former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria appeared before the Integrity Committee on Wednesday to clear their position, as the PCB had some information about them regarding fixing suspicions.

The selectors, sources said, wanted to pick Malik and Kamran for the New Zealand ODI series and the World Cup. However, for the said inclusions, PCB’s clearance is essential.

Meanwhile, sources said the Integrity Committee asked Kamran Akmal about his cellphone numbers which he had been using during the last World Twenty20, held earlier this year in the West Indies.

Malik, it was learnt, was also questioned by the Committee about Pakistan losing the last Super Sixes tournament final against Australia in Hong Kong.

The Integrity Committee may call both Kamran and Malik for further grilling, before taking a final decision on the New Zealand (ODI) and World Cup squads.

It also emerged that the selectors could not even hold any meaningful discussion to give some sort of shape to the list of World Cup probables, mainly due to the three players’ clearance issue.

There is also a problem in finalising the ODI team against New Zealand as one of the selectors had objected to the induction of all-rounder Fawad Alam in the squad.

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