Batting all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been dropped from the 16-member Pakistan squad for the upcoming Asian Cup tournament, beginning September 15.
All-rounder Imad Wasim has also been left out of the squad after he failed to pass a fitness test during a training camp in Lahore, while left-hand batsman Shan Masood has been included in the team along with country's latest batting sensation Fakhar Zamaan and southpaw Imamul Haq.
Reflecting on the selections, chief selector Inzamamul Haq said that the players were picked keeping in mind the tough condition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He further hoped that the players would put up a good performance in the tournament.
"These players are selected keeping in mind the tough conditions in the UAE and we believe they will do well. The weather here is extremely warm and therefore, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) allowed us to select 16 players for the tournament," the Express Tribune quoted Inzamam, as saying.
Justifying the decision to pick Shan Masood at the place of Hafeez, the chief selector said that it is the right time to give Masood a chance as the World Cup is approaching and the management wants the youngster to prove his credibility.
"Masood is in brilliant form. He has scored 1,300 runs in List A cricket so I think he deserved a place before the upcoming World Cup," he said.
"On the other hand, Hafeez is in our plans for the upcoming World Cup but right now we felt it is the right time to give the youngster a chance in a tournament like this. Hafeez career is not over by any means. We don't decide which player's career is finished. We have a lot of cricket coming up before the World Cup, so we will select him at the right time," he added.
Pakistan will open their Asia Cup campaign on September 16 against a qualifying team, which is yet to be decided. Their clash with India is scheduled to be held on September 19.
The full Pakistan squad for Asia Cup is as follows:
Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Muhammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Muhammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi.