Chief selector Haroon Rasheed will fly to Dubai on Saturday to discuss candidates best suited to represent Pakistan in the four-match ODI series against England scheduled to start from November 11.
With all-rounder Haris Sohail out with a knee injury and unlikely to recover in time, selectors are mulling the option of naming veteran Younus Khan in the squad.
However, Younus’ comeback to the limited-over squad has been a bone of contention as the 37-year-old has not featured in the ODI side since the 2015 World Cup. It is precisely to clear the air on the matter that Haroon is travelling to the UAE.
2nd Test: Pakistan beat England in nail-biting finish
“I’m going to Dubai to talk with the team management and captain Azhar Ali about the ODI squad with some debatable points on the agenda,” Haroon told The Express Tribune. “There is no big fuss over the selection of Younus and it’s only about taking all the stakeholders into confidence. Yes, he is in contention for the squad, but we’ll see what happens when we meet.”
While current Test skipper Misbahul Haq and T20I skipper Shahid Afridi announced their retirements after the World Cup in Australia, Younus has repeatedly stated his desire to feature in the ODI squad. The selection committee, led by Haroon, stated ‘resting the veteran’ as the major reason for dropping Younus from the ODI series against Bangladesh and is now considering getting the Mardan-born, who recently broke Javed Miandad’s age-old record of most Test runs, into the ODI side.
“Younus has been a great servant for Pakistan and I don’t want him to sit out of the playing 11 because he doesn’t deserve it. We only want to select him when he is guaranteed a spot in the playing 11 because that is what he deserves. This is just my opinion and others can differ,” added Haroon.
The middle-order batsman has enjoyed a fabulous Test career, scoring 9,071 runs in 103 Tests with the help of 31 centuries and 30 fifties at a staggering average of 54.31.
Quick march: Younus wants to cash every ‘big innings’ opportunity
However, his ODI career has been indifferent with 7,240 runs in 264 ODIs at an average of 31.34 with seven hundreds and 48 half-centuries.
He last played an ODI in the group match against South Africa, where he contributed with a 37-run knock.
Another point on the selection committee’s agenda would be the selection of fit-again Anwar Ali, who had missed the Zimbabwe series due to a groin injury he picked up during a domestic tournament.
The all-rounder on Tuesday announced that he was raring to go for the series against England and the selectors would consider taking advantage of his pace after recent impressive performances.
Defiant till the end: Pakistan win Test, England the hearts
Haroon also added that opener Raffatullah Mohmand, who impressed with his performance in the recently-concluded domestic tournament, is also on the selector’s radar, while Aamer Yamin, who was sent as a replacement for Anwar and impressed with his 62-run knock in the second ODI, is being considered to be part of the Pakistan A squad, who will play a series with the England Lions.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.
Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.