Middle-order batsman Umar Akmal has once again failed a fitness test and is expected to miss next month’s International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy, set to be jointly hosted by England and Wales.
The team management, per sources close to the matter, has already sent Umar’s
report to the cricket board and asked for left-handed batsman Haris Sohail to be included as his replacement.
It is not the first time the 26-year-old Umar, who is currently in England for the preparation of the mega event, has failed a fitness test; similar issues had seen him dropped from the ODI and T20I squads for the recent West Indies series too.
The Lahore-born cricketer has represented the Men-in-Green in 116 ODIs and scored 3,044 runs at an average of 34.59.
28-year-old Haris, who last represented the national side two years ago, has emerged as the beneficiary of Umar’s failure.
Kamran Akmal out, Umar Akmal in for ICC Champions Trophy
The team management has also asked for pacer Mohammad Abbas’ inclusion in the squad in place of young leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
Abbas produced impressive performances in the recent Test series against West Indies, claiming 15 wickets in three matches at an average of less than 20.
The changes to the final squad are unlikely to need ratification from the ICC as according to tournament rules, teams are allowed to tweak their squads until May 24.