(AFP) — Wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal said Wednesday he was delighted to be back among Pakistan’s World Cup probables, as former captain Shoaib Malik expressed disappointment at being left out.
Kamran, 28, got the required clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and was named in a preliminary 30-man squad for the event to be hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka from February 19-April 2. But Malik failed to get clearance after the PCB formed a committee to assess various match-fixing suspicions against players, including him and Kamran.
Kamran said he was never involved in any wrongdoing.
“I have always played cricket the right way and when the PCB asked me to appear before the committee I complied and I am happy that they have included me in the preliminary squad,” Kamran told AFP.
Kamran was under suspicion of match-fixing during Pakistan’s surprise defeat in the Sydney Test against Australia in January last year. He dropped four catches and missed a run-out in Australia’s second innings as Pakistan failed to chase a modest 176-run target.
The International Cricket Council reportedly issued a notice to him.
Kamran, who scored his highest first class score of 268 last November, said he hoped Pakistan would do well despite missing key players, including pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, both facing bans on spot-fixing charges. “We have to play with the available players and I am sure that if we play to our potential we can win the World Cup,” said Kamran.
Malik, who was also reportedly under suspicion of match-fixing, said he was disappointed at being left out.
“My family and I are deeply disappointed,” Malik said in a television interview.
“It’s a great honour to play in the World Cup but I will not allow my confidence level to dip and will continue to perform at a domestic level,” said Malik who has scored four hundreds in the ongoing domestic season.
Malik said the PCB gave no reason for dropping him.
“It’s tough to pacify yourself when you are not given a reason for your omission,” said Malik, who was sacked as captain in January 2009 after being at the helm for two years.
“Cricket teaches you discipline so with discipline and determination I will strive to get my place back,” said Malik, who married Indian tennis star Sania Mirza last year.