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Captain hails Kamran Akmal’s return

Thursday, January 6, 2011

KARACHI: Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s limited-overs captain, has welcomed the inclusion of experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal in the country’s preliminary 30-man squad for World Cup 2011.

“Kamran is one of our most experienced players. He is a key team member especially for One-day Internationals which is why I’m happy that he is back,” Afridi told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

Akmal, a former Pakistan vice-captain, was ignored for national duty for back-to-back series against South Africa and New Zealand.

Though there were no formal charges against him, it was widely believed that the Lahore-based player was a match-fixing suspect.

After last year’s tour of England, Akmal was sidelined as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided against clearing him for national duty.

However, following a series of meetings at the PCB headquarters in Lahore, PCB’s integrity committee finally decided to clear him to play for Pakistan. He was later included in Pakistan’s preliminary squad for the World Cup getting underway from February 19.

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