Inzamam-ul-Haq has not been included in a provisional squad set to undergo a rigorous two-week conditioning camp in Abbottabad. The 20-member squad, announced by the national selectors, will start the camp from June 10. There are two more similar camps in Quetta and Karachi thereafter.
There has been growing speculation in Pakistan about the future of Inzamam in the Test squad. While he is expected to get a central contract, his exclusion from the preparatory camp suggests that he may not figure in the immediate future plans of Pakistan. The presence of Misbah-ul-Haq, Asim Kamal and Faisal Iqbal in the camp suggests that other middle-order options are being explored by the Pakistani setup.
Inzamam retired from the one-day game in the aftermath of a disastrous World Cup but said that he was keen on continuing in the longer version of the game. However, a severe indictment from an inquiry commission on the World Cup seemed to indicate that the road ahead would be tough.
Younis Khan and Danish Kaneria have also not been included in the camp as they are playing county cricket for Yorkshire and Essex respectively. The duo have been given permission by the Pakistan board to play in the county circuit till September. Shoaib Akhtar, who had been dropped from the Afro-Asia Cup squad due to injury concerns, has been called up to the camp.
"We need Akhtar in the hectic schedule ahead and hopefully he will play a
crucial part on the tour of Scotland,"
said Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector to AFP, adding,
"Akhtar has been bowling eight overs on the trot without any trouble and we hope
he will get into top gear in the tune-up camp".
Among those included in the camp are Fawad Alam and left-arm medim-fast bowler Najaf Shah. The 21-year old Fawad Alam who plays for Karachi in domestic cricket has a career average of 47.60 in domestic List A cricket. While Alam hasn't played a Test match, he has played his only ODI in the recently concluded Abu Dhabi series. Shah who also played his sole ODI in the same series, has also been called up after an impressive domestic season
Shoaib Malik (Captain), Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Yousuf, Yasir Hameed, Misbah-ul-Haq, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzak, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul, Rao Iftikhar Anjum, Najaf Shah