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Last Updated:  Thursday, 20 March, 2003, 11:43 GMT
Pakistan ring the changes
Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib is the only bowler in world cricket to exceeed 100mph
Shoaib Akhtar and Wasim Akram have been left out in a purge of the Pakistan squad following their failure at the World Cup.

Former skipper Waqar Younis is also among the eight senior players omitted for next month's Sharjah Cup competition.

The others are batsmen Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saeed Anwar, all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Azhar Mahmood and spin bowler Saqlain Mushtaq.

"It has been a very difficult decision to leave out the maestros but we are looking to the future," said chief selector Aamir Sohail.

"This process may take a few tournaments before we know where we stand. Until we are absolutely sure about the youngsters, we will not close the chapter on the seniors."

The shock announcement follows Wednesday's decision to appoint wicket-keeper Rashid Latif as captain, Javed Miandad as coach and Haroon Rashid as team manager.

Pakistan failed to progress beyond the first round group stage of the World Cup, winning only two of their six games - and those against Namibia and Holland.

Aamir Sohail
This is the beginning of a rebuilding phase and some bitter pills will have to be swallowed
Chief selector Aamir Sohail

Wasim, the only bowler in history to take over 500 one-day wickets, Waqar and Saeed are in the veteran stage, and Inzamam has paid the price for scoring only 19 runs in five innings. .

But Shoaib performed reasonably well, taking 11 wickets at an average of 22.9 and contributing useful runs with the bat.

New coach Miandad recently questioned Shoaib's fitness record, however, and accused team officials of mismanagment.

"There are so many other fast bowlers playing cricket right now that don't suffer as many injuries as Shoaib," he said last month.

The so-called 'Rawalpindi Express' will now be free to start the English county season with Hampshire, providing he passes a fitness test.

Pakistan's new-look squad includes three players new to senior international cricket: batsman Mohammad Hafeez, all-rounder Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and seam bowler Umar Gul.

"I think it is the right time to throw the youngsters in and let them show what they have got. In the absence of the big boys, I think they will realize their responsibilities more than ever," said skipper Latif.

"They will know that the seniors are not there and whatever has to be done, it is to be done by only them. This fact will help us know about their mental toughness because in modern day cricket, you have to be mentally very, very tough."

Pakistan squad: Rashid Latif (capt), Yousuf Youhana (vice-capt), Taufeeq Umer, Mohammad Hafeez, Saleem Elahi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Naved Latif, Faisal Iqbal, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Sami, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Zahid.




SEE ALSO
Latif succeeds axed Waqar
19 Mar 03  |  Pakistan
Pakistan 'let Waqar down'
19 Mar 03  |  Pakistan
Shoaib breaks 100mph mark
22 Feb 03  |  Pakistan

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