Misbah, Naved, Nazir may get the axe

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pcb-logo.jpg' class='caption'> Misbah-ul-Haq, pacer Rana Naved and opener Imran Nazir are likely to get the axe when the Pakistan's national selection committee pick the squad against NZ

Updated: October 21, 2009 16:25 IST
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Senior batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, pacer Rana Naved and opener Imran Nazir are likely to get the axe when the Pakistan's national selection committee pick the a 17-member squad for a three-match ODI series against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

The selection committee, headed by former Pakistan player Iqbal Qasim would meet in Lahore tomorrow to finalise the squad.

"Iqbal Qasim is clear in his mind that there is a need to bring in and give chances to some young batsmen in Pakistan line-up and he sees the series as the ideal platform for testing the young players," a source close to the selectors said.

The team would also play two Twenty20 matches against the Black Caps in Dubai.

Source said the selectors in majority were not happy with the performance of Misbah and felt he had passed his best.

"They also don't think that Rana Naved would be useful on the Abu Dhabi and Dubai pitches and want to try out a new bowler like Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Talha or others. Imran Nazir is going to get the axe to bring back Salman Butt and Imran Farhat," the source said.

He said Butt was set for a comeback after performing in domestic cricket, while Farhat had also impressed selectors with his fine form in domestic matches after parting ways with the Indian Cricket League.

"Butt and Farhat will be picked as the new opening pair while the selectors are likely to consider from among Umar Amin, Khurrum Manzoor and Khalid Latif to introduce new faces in the team," the source said.

Pakistan team will leave for New Zealand straight from Dubai after playing the one-day series and from New Zealand they would move to Australia.

Captain younus Khan and vice-captain Shahid Afridi have also been asked to attend the selectors meeting. The board is also expected to announce Yawar Saeed as manager for the New Zealand series although he had resigned after the Champions Trophy.

The source also disclosed that the selectors had been told to keep pacer Muhammad Asif in mind as the PCB Chairman was still in touch with the Dubai authorities to get clearance for him to play in the Emirate states.

Although Butt announced at his press conference on Monday that Asif would not be going to Abu Dhabi and Dubai because of his detention case there last year, but the source said Butt was still speaking to the Dubai authorities and could manage to get required clearance for Asif.

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