Pakistan suffered a huge blow to their Asia Cup and World Twenty20 preparations as fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, the team's spearhead in recent times, was ruled out of both events due to a recurrence of his hip injury.
Lanky Irfan, the tallest ever man to play international cricket at 7 feet one inch, fractured his hip in Pakistan's T20 series against South Africa in UAE in November last year.
However, his recovery proved short lived when the injury recurred in a domestic tournament this week, prompting chief selector Azhar Khan to say Irfan had to be left out of the squads.
“Irfan was left out as he injured himself again and needs some time for recovery,” Khan told reporters while announcing the squads.
The notable inclusions in the squads for the upcoming events are Fawad Alam, who returns to the ODI squad after a gap of over two years and Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik who have been included in the World T20 squad.
“Kamran and Malik will give experience to the team for the important event,” said Khan.
The Asia Cup will be held in Dhaka, from February 25 to March 8. Besides Pakistan - the defending champions - India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and hosts Bangladesh will also take part in the event.
The fifth edition of the World T20 with 16 teams in competition will also be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6.
Asia Cup squad:
Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Sharjeel Khan, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti, Mohammad Talha
World Twenty20 squad:
Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Talha, Ahmed Shehzad, Kamran Akmal