Pakistan recall Azhar Mahmood for ODIs
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 6th February 2007
Pakistan's forgotten all-rounder Azhar Mahmood was due to fly to South
Africa Monday as the latest reinforcement for his country's injury-hit
squad, selectors said.
Mahmood, who played the last of his 139 one-day internationals in
Australia in February 2005, will travel on Monday night and may be
available to play in the second one-day international at Durban on
"The team management has asked for a replacement for injured paceman
Shabbir Ahmed and Mahmood is being rushed to South Africa for the
one-day series," selector Iqbal Qasim told AFP.
Ahmed, who joined the team for the one-day series, hurt his groin and
is the third player to be sent back from South Africa on fitness
grounds after bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul returned last month.
Akhtar was not in the original squad for the Test series but was sent
as a replacement for Gul, who twisted his ankle during the team's first
warm-up match, barely three days after Pakistan landed in the Republic.
Akhtar's tour also lasted just a week as he tore his hamstring muscle
during the second Test at Port Elizabeth and had to be sent back.
South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the five-match one-day series on Sunday
with a thumping 164-run victory over Pakistan at Centurion. They
amassed 392-6 in 50 overs before bowling out Pakistan for 228.
The 31-year-old Mahmood, who criticised selectors for not including him
in the 30-man World Cup probables list, was ecstatic at the recall. He
has been in prolific form in domestic cricket and hit a century in each
innings for Islamabad against Multan last week, as well as taking 34
wickets in the past four matches.
Mahmood, who was also a star for Surrey in the English domestic season,
hoped the South Africa series would revive his international career.
"I have not given up hopes of playing in the World Cup and would do my
best to give a performance which earns me a place in the World Cup
squad," said Mahmood, who has 1,492 runs and 122 wickets in one-day
Pakistan are expected to announce their World Cup squad next week. The
ninth World Cup will start in the West Indies on March 13.