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Shoaib, Yousuf, Afridi set to make comeback in Abu Dhabi series

Lahore, Nov 3 (UNI) As the national selectors meet today at Islamabad to take a final call for its 15-man squad for this month's three-match One-day International series against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi are all set to make a brilliant comeback into the national squad.

''A meeting of the National Selection Committee was held yesterday, in which the selectors discussed the final combination for the Abu Dhabi series that will be played from November 12-16,'' Chief selector Saleem Jaffer said.

He further said the committee also took the input from newly-appointed Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam and skipper Shoaib Malik.

''The final list will be decided today after which it will be sent to Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, for his approval,'' the former Pakistan Test pacer added.

It is also known that senior middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf, a key member of Pakistan's batting line, is all set to make a brilliant comeback into the national squad after being ignored for last month's four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Toronto.

Controversial fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is also set to make his one-day return. The pacer has returned with impressive figures of 4-14 in 10 overs, while playing for Federal Areas in a Pentangular Cup match against Punjab yesterday in Islamabad.

It's almost a year now that the 33-year-old seamer hasn't played a one-dayer since featuring in the fourth game of the ODI series against India in Gwalior last year either due to injury or suspension. But his participation in the Toronto quadrangular last month has given him a chance for the comeback into the squad.

However, seasoned allrounder Shahid Afridi has also made himself a certainty for the Abu Dhabi series after hitting a splendid 81 for Sindh in their Pentangular Cup match against Balochistan here at the National Stadium yesterday.

But a question mark remains on the selection of specialist spinner Saeed Ajmal.

The bowler was initially selected for the Toronto event but his name was erased by the Sports Ministry, which instead opted for opening batsman Shoaib Khan. That incident later resulted in the resignation of former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed.


Story first published: Monday, November 3, 2008, 13:36 [IST]
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