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Haris Sohail replaces Akmal for ICC Champions Trophy

Lahore (May 23, 2017): Haris Sohail has replaced Umar Akmal in national squad for ICC Champions Trophy.

According to the details, Pakistan all-rounder Haris Sohail will replace middle-order batsman Umar Akmal, who was unceremoniously withdrawn from the Champions Trophy squad over fitness concerns a week before the competition, it was announced Tuesday.

Middle order batsman Umar Akmal failed to clear the fitness test, which was conducted by team management in England, after that the management decided to drop Akmal from team. Chairman PCB Shaheryar Khan said that Umar two fitness tests were conducted however he failed to prove himself fit in both.

Shaharyar Khan further said that Pakistan Cricket Board has devised a policy not to send unfit players for foreign trips, therefore the Board decided to call back Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail will join the team in London, who passed the fitness test.

It must be pertinent to mention that two years earlier, Haris Sohail had represented Pakistan in Lahore against Zimbabwe, in which he had played for unbeatable 52 runs inning. Haris has played 22 matches so far, in which he has scored 774 runs with the help of seven 50s, while his best score was 89 not out. Haris Sohail also took nine wickets in 22 matches, while his best bowling figure is 3/45.

The 27-year-old Akmal, known for his chequered disciplinary record, failed two fitness tests after joining the squad in Birmingham last week.

He was left out of the limited-over squads for the tour of West Indies in March for being overweight.

The four-yearly eight-team tournament hosted by England starts on June 1.

May 25 is the deadline for changes to squads, apart from replacements for injury reasons.

Akmal has a history of disciplinary issues, and was fined last week for a verbal dispute with fellow player Junaid Khan in the Pakistan Cup held last month.

Former Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis termed him a negative influence and recommended he be kept far away from the time following the team´s disastrous 2015 World Cup campaign in Australia.

He was also jailed for a day after beating a traffic police official in Lahore five years ago.

Sohail has not played for Pakistan since the limited-over series against Zimbabwe in Lahore in May 2015, after which he suffered a knee injury which required surgery.

The left-handed batsman, who also bowls left-arm spin, has played 22 one-day internationals and four Twenty20 internationals.

Pakistan open their Pool B campaign with a high-voltage game against arch-rivals India in Birmingham on June 4. They also play South Africa (in Birmingham on June 7) and Sri Lanka (in Cardiff on June 12).

Hosts England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand form Pool A. The top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semi-finals.

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Umar Akmal fails fitness tests, out of Champions Trophy