Sami/Fernando dropped

Pakistan’s Mohammad Sami and Sri Lanka’s Dilhara Fernando have both been dropped for the forthcoming one-day series between the sides. There have also been several other changes in the squads for the series, with both sides experimenting in trying to find their best side ahead of this year’s Champions Trophy.

Sami has been dropped because of his continued lack of control in one-day cricket – he has frequently been a liability in recent months, delivering some wildly inaccurate performances with the ball. Fernando, on the other hand, has shown promise – but has been plagued by a no-ball problem. His omission from the squad was designed to give him time to rectify the issue.

In place of the dropped Sami and Arshad Khan, and the injured Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan have called up off-spinning all-rounder Tahir Khan and slow left-armer Abdul Rehman. Both of these players are uncapped, but have been performing well in domestic cricket, and at 25 and 26 respectively, have time on their side.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, recall four players who had been rested for the Tests against Bangladesh. Veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya, premier seamer Chaminda Vaas, batsman Russel Arnold and captain Marvan Atapattu all return. Leg-spinning all-rounder Kaushal Lokuarachchi retains his place, but seamer Dammika Prasad does not, despite some promising performances against Bangladesh.

The series begins on March 17 at Colombo, with the remaining two games on March 19 and 21 at the same venue.

Pakistan squad
Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Faisal Iqbal, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Abdul Razzaq, Danish Kaneria, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Asif, Rao Iftikhar, Abdul Rehman, Tahir Khan, Umar Gul.

Sri Lanka squad
Marvan Atapattu (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Tillekeratne Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Chamara Kapugedera, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Malinga Bandara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ruchira Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Kaushal Lokuarachchi.

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