Younis Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has been dropped from the 30-man preliminary squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, which is scheduled to be played in England in June. The right-handed top-order batsman’s place in the limited-overs team was under threat after a poor performance in the recently-concluded One Day International (ODI) series against South Africa.
The cricketer from Mardan scored 116 runs in five innings, although he was expected to deliver the goods, being one of the most senior cricketers in the side. Younis has been immensely criticised for not converting his starts into big innings, which is one of the reasons why Pakistan lost the series by three games to two.
With a batting average of more than 50 runs per innings in Test cricket, the 35-year-old cricketer is considered to be one of the best in the business. Quite surprisingly, however, the seasoned campaigner has struggled to consistently perform well in the shorter formats of the game throughout his career, having a batting average of less than 32 runs per innings in ODIs.
Considering the fact that some very talented young batsmen like Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Umer Amin and Haris Sohail are struggling to find a permanent place in the side, the cricket analysts have welcomed the move by the selectors to drop the veteran batsman, who looks out of sorts against the white ball.
There are five players in the 30-man squad, Asad Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan, Zulfiqar Babar and Imran Khan, who have never represented Pakistan’s senior team in past.
Pakistan’s Preliminary Squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013: Nasir Jamshed, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Ahmed Shehzad, Misbah-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Umer Amin, Sohail Tanvir, Hammad Azam, Azhar Ali, Shahid Afridi, Asad Ali, Anwar Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Rahat Ali, Ehsan Adil, Imran Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Yasir Arafat, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Zulfiqar Babar, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan
Pakistan is placed in group B, along with India, South Africa and West Indies, in the 8-team tournament.