Dope tainted fast bowler, Mohammad Asif, will don the Pakistan colors again during the Champions Trophy that will be held in South Africa next month.
Asif, who was banned for a year by the IPL's Drugs Tribunal, will have his ban lifted a day before the Champions Trophy kicks off.
That resulted in Pakistan announcing him first in the 30 probables, and now in their 15-man squad for the event.
Asif has not played any official cricket since the IPL in 2008.
His last international cricket match was an ODI against Bangladesh in April 2008.
During this 17 month lay-off, Asif has not appeared for any domestic team, or played any cricket match whatsoever.
Considering that, his selection raises more than just a few eyebrows.
Is he the same bowler he was before he was banned?
Is he match-fit?
Is he even fit to begin with?
Is the PCB sure that there is no nandronolone in his body any more?
The Champions Trophy is an ICC event so he will surely be tested, no matter how random the tests are.
For the last week or so, Asif had been training at a camp in Karachi, with an Under-23 squad, that was being over looked by Rashid Latif.
The Pakistan selectors had requested Rashid to send them a fitness report on Asif, following which Iqbal Qasim & Co. gave him the go ahead.
Forget the eyebrows that will be raised due to his selection; think about what else will be raised when one figures that Asif comes into Pakistan's squad at the expense of Abdul Razzaq!
Razzaq made an impressive return to international cricket during the World Twenty20; I reckon he played an instrumental part in Pakistan's victory in the tournament.
And just due to a few lacklustre ODI performances against Sri Lanka, he finds himself dropped.
That too for a bowler who has been found guilty of substance abuse, not once but twice!
If Razzaq has been excluded based on his performance in the ODIs in Sri Lanka, then why are Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah, and Shoaib Malik still in the squad?
There was a lot of speculation around all 3 players due to their recent indifferent ODI form, but all 3 find a place in the plane to South Africa.
Besides Asif, the only change to the ODI squad that played in Sri Lanka is the exclusion of Nasir Jamshed.
That leaves Imran Nazir as the only specialist opener in the 15-man squad.
Sometimes I wonder what these Pakistan selectors smoke.
Even 7 men could not sit down and bring up the courage to drop a couple of senior batsmen who are way past their best; nor did they have the balls to name a few promising youngsters; nor a back up opener!
What they did though was bring back a doper and dropped an allrounder who was just finding his feet again in international cricket.
They never cease to amaze me.
Pakistan's Champions Trophy Squad: Younis Khan, Misbah Ul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Imran Nazir, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Rana Naved, Saeed Ajmal, Rao Iftikhar Anjum