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Harbhajan among five Indians in Asia ODI team

May 11, 2007 18:42 IST

The Asian Cricket Council selectors on Friday named Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Asia ODI team for the Afro-Asia Cup 2007.

The second edition of the tournament will pit the Asians against an African team in a three-match one-day international series and a Twenty20 match next month.

Also included in the 14-man squad is out-of-form off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who incidentally has been dropped from the India's Test and ODI squads after a string of poor performances.

"Our original choice for the spinner's slot was Muttiah Muralitharan, but since he was not available due to his county commitments, we decided to include Harbhajan," said an official of the Asian Cricket Council.

The selectors who picked the Asian team were former India batsman Chetan Chauhan, Mohsin Khan (Pakistan), Lalith Kaluperuma (Sri Lanka) and AFM Farooque (Bangladesh).

The first one-dayer will be played on June 6, in Bangalore, while the other two will be in Chennai on June 9 and 10.

Asian Cricket Council Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Haq, however, seemed not too happy with the scheduling of the tournament.

"I don't know why this tournament was organised in the month of May and also in the city of Chennai. But the BCCI insisted on it, so we could not do anything about it," he told

Mahela Jayawardene, who took Sri Lanka to the 2007 World Cup final, was named the captain of the Asia team. There are four other Sri Lankans in the squad are Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga and Upul Tharanga.

In a surprising decision, the Pakistan pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif were also included in the ODI squad. The two players were not part of Pakistan's World Cup team and have not played any form of cricket in the last six months.

In fact, Shoaib has not been included in Pakistan's squad for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, to be held in Abu Dhabi, later this month.

Former India pace bowler Roger Binny will be coach of the Asia team, while John Gloster the physio.

Meanwhile, Shoaib Malik was named the captain of Asia for the one-off Twenty20 game to be played in Bangalore on June 5.

The lone Indian player to figure in this team is pacer Munaf Patel.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith will lead Africa; Kenya captain Steve Tikolo will be his deputy.

India's women's team captain Mithali Raj will lead the Asia women's team against the Africa team in a Twenty20 match to be played on June 5.

Jaya Sharma, Jhulan Goswami, Rumeli Dhar and Priti Dimri are the other players that figure in the Asia team.


Asia ODI team: Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka - captain), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Sachin Tendulkar (India), Virender Sehwag (India), Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan), Yuvraj Singh (India), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India), Harbhajan Singh (India), Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka), Shoaib Akhtar (Pakistan), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka),  Mohammad Rafique (Bangladesh), Mohammad Asif (Pakistan), Upul Tharanga (Sri Lanka).

Coach: Roger Binny. Physio: John Gloster, Manager: Sultan Rana.

Asia Twenty20 team: Shoaib Malik (Pakistan - captain), Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh), Imran Nazir (Pakistan), Mohammad Ashraful (Bangladesh), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Kamran Akmal (Pakistan), Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh), Farveez Maharoof (Sri Lanka), Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh), Munaf Patel (India).

Coach: Rumesh Ratnayake. Manager: Sultan Rana, Physio: John Gloster.

Harish Kotian in Dhaka