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Pakistan pick Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali for Champions Trophy - nairrk - 04-26-2017

Pakistan have brought back former ODI captain Azhar Ali and wicketkeeper-batsman Umar Akmal for the upcoming Champions Trophy 2017, beginning from June 1. Azhar, who recently gave up captaincy after the tour of Australia, also lost his place in the side during the ODI series in West Indies.

Prior to his call to hand over the leadership, Azhar had scored just two fifties and a hundred in 23 innings. In his final series as the skipper, in Australia, Azhar managed scores of just 24, 7 and 6 as Pakistan succumbed to a series defeat - their second in five months. His return to the side means he will now play under his former deputy Sarfraz Ahmed.

Like Azhar, Umar Akmal too had lost his spot owing to poor returns in Australia, but has been recalled. Kamran Akmal however, couldn't keep his spot after making a return during the West Indies ODIs. Kamran's exceptional batting performances in the second edition of the PSL, where he topped the batting charts, earned him a spot for the three 50-over games in the Caribbean after four years since last playing an ODI. Scores of 47, 21 and 0 in the three games, however, prompted the selectors to leave him out for the multi-team event.

Among fresh faces in the squad are Fakhar Zaman, the 27-year-old left-handed opener, who made his T20I debut earlier this year and all-rounder Fahim Ashraf, who has impressed in the domestic circuit. Pakistan have also included 18-year-old legspinner Shadab Khan, who made an immediate impact on T20I and ODI debut in West Indies recently.

Paksitan kick-start their Champions Trophy campaign in a big-ticket fixture against rivals India on June 4, and will also play Sri Lanka and South Africa in the Group B fixtures.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed ©, Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahdab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal (wk), Wahab Riaz.