Karachi:Pakistan will miss the services of its top five players, including the suspended trio of Salman Butt, Mohammed Asif and Mohammed Amir, in the upcoming cricket World Cup, sources said on Tuesday.
The sources said International Cricket Council (ICC) has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to not include players under suspicion in its preliminary 30-member squad, which has to be finalised by December 19.
The other two players, who are to likely to miss the bus are stumper Kamran Akmal and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria.
"The advice is not to select these two while the suspended trio of Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Amir are also out of contention for the World Cup," one source told PTI.
The source said the PCB had tried to get clearance for selecting Akmal but did not get a favorable response from the sport's world governing body.
"There is fear in the cricket hierarchy that with doubts still existing over the conduct of Akmal, Kaneria and the suspended trio also under a spot-fixing cloud, these five should not be selected in the World Cup preliminary squad," the source said.
Sources also said that there was also some doubt over former captain Shoaib Malik, who has scored three successive hundreds in the ongoing domestic season.
"There is 50-50 chance of Malik making the preliminary squad but 95 per chance that Akmal and Kaneria are out of contention," the source said.
The Boards have to submit their preliminary squads of 30 to the ICC by December 19 and the final-15 after a month.
Salman Butt, Amir and Asif were provisionally suspended by the ICC after allegations surfaced that they took money to bowl deliberate no balls during the Lord's Test against England.
"The PCB and its selectors are in the process of finalising the squad for the New Zealand tour and the World Cup preliminary squad and several meetings have been held in this regard involving chief selector Mohsin Khan, coach Waqar Younis and manager Intikhab Alam with PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt," the source said.
He said without ICC clearance and approval the PCB, faced with spot-fixing controversy, was not in a position to induct players still under a cloud of suspicion.
A former Test player said if the selectors were not able to pick the suspended trio and Akmal and Kaneria it would be a big blow to Pakistan cricket team.
"They are all senior players and the absence of Akmal and Kaneria would be a big setback for the team, it will hard finding their replacements," he said.
Akmal and Kaneria had also missed out on just concluded series against South Africa in the UAE. The board had not explained their ouster.