Akmal dropped for Asia Cup

Islamabad, June 19:

Pakistan dropped wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal from their 20-member squad for upcoming Asia Cup, the chief selector said on Thursday.

Selector Salahuddin Ahmed said Akmal was rested to give youngster Sarfraz Ahmad a chance in the six-nation tournament, starting in Pakistan on June 24. Pakistan are placed in Group B for the Asia Cup with India and minnows Hong Kong, while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates are in Group A. The top two teams from each group will advance to the second round. The final is scheduled for Karachi on July 6.

Pakistan will be without their two ace pacemen — Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif. Akhtar was serving an 18-month ban imposed by the PCB. Asif had been in detention in Dubai since June 1 after being caught with illegal substance in his wallet.