Farhat recalled from international ban

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has recalled opening batsman Imran Farhat for next month's series against New Zealand, ending his international isolation for playing in the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League. Farhat, the 27-year-old left-handed batsman last played a test against South Africa in 2007 before joining the ICL. He has now severed his ties with that league and Pakistan selectors responded Thursday by recalling him.

Pakistan will play three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates before traveling to New Zealand for a three-test series. Farhat was one of seven players named in the squads for all three formats, along with allrounder Shoaib Malik, batsman Umar Akmal, wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and fast bowlers Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamir.

Younis Khan, who was named captain earlier this week through to the 2011 World Cup, will lead the side in ODIs and tests while Shahid Afridi will be the skipper for the T20 games in Dubai. Out-of-touch batsman Misbah-ul-Haq was left out of the squads, but chief selector Iqbal Qasim hoped the middle-order batsman would find form before Pakistan's tour to Australia later this year.

"He has been given rest because we think he is under pressure and needs time to regroup himself," Qasim told reporters. Left-handed opener Salman Butt ignored for the Champions Trophy was named in ODI and test squads as Qasim wanted to avoid reliance on makeshift openers.

"Opening is a specialized field and we want to hand over this job to regular openers," Qasim said. Paceman Mohammad Asif will join the team in New Zealand for test matches.

The fast bowler is barred from entering into the United Arab Emirates as he was deported last year for possessing a small amount of opium. All-rounder Abdul Razzaq also returns in ODI and T20 teams after he was ignored for the Champions Trophy.

Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and Faisal Iqbal were ignored for ODIs and T20s, but were named in the test squad. The series begins in Abu Dhabi with a one-dayer on Nov. 3.