M HAROON SIDDIQUI

LAHORE - Pakistan included all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Hammad Azam in its one-day and Twenty20 squads and dropped Taufeeq Umar from the squads for the One-day and Twenty20 international matches being commenced from February 13 against England in United Arab Emirates.

Shoaib Malik has been included in the one-day team on the request of skipper Misbahul Haq who will lead Pakistan in both the formats.

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq, part of the team in the one-day series against Sri Lanka in the UAE last year, has been dropped due to fitness problem. He missed the Bangladesh series in December due to a shoulder injury but failed to get a nod post-recovery.

Fellow all-rounder Hammad Azam gets another chance and hard-hitting batsmen Awais Zia will make his international debut in the T20 team after doing well in the newest form of the game in domestic competitions.

Hammad Azam, 20, has played five one-day games but last appeared against Ireland in June 2011. Paceman Wahab Riaz, part of the Test squad but did not play in any of the matches, retains his place in both the one-day and T20 squads, while Test specialist Azhar Ali will be part of the one-day squad only.

Meanwhile, Awais Zia while talking to this scribe from Multan, thanked Almighty Allah for his selection in the national for Twenty20 series and expressed the hope that he will well to show his skills at the international level to cement his place in the national team. "I will do my best to prove my mettle in the Twenty20 series against England and Insha Allah through my performances I will cement my spot in the Pakistan team," he added.

He praised the PCB Chief Zaka Ashraf efforts to bring back international cricket to Pakistan in near future and congratulated him for Pakistan clean sweep against the ICC world No 1 ranking team in UAE. He also felicitated the team captain Misbahul Haq, management for achieving this historic milestone.

Awais Zia who scored back-to-back centuries in the Saarc Under-25 inaugural tournament, said he wanted to play for Pakistan and Almighty Allah has provided him with the opportunity to play for country and he would prove his worth during the series to seal spot in the Pakistan cricket team.

Pakistan ODI squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Younus Khan, Shahid Afridi, M Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Aizaz Cheema, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Azhar Ali, Hammad Azam and Shoaib Malik.

Twenty20 squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Shahid Afridi, M Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Awais Zia, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid, Hammad Azam.

ODI fixtures

1st ODI     Feb 13     (Abu Dhabi)

2nd ODI     Feb 15     (Abu Dhabi)

3rd ODI     Feb 18     (Dubai)

4th ODI     Feb 21     (Dubai)

T20 series:

1st T20    Feb 23     (Dubai)

2nd T20     Feb 25    (Dubai)

3rd T20     Feb 27     (Abu Dhabi)