LAHORE - Pakistan have recalled batsmen Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq for the upcoming three-match ODI series against West Indies in the UAE. Fast bowlers Sohail Khan and Rahat Ali have also been included in the 16-member squad. Sami Aslam and Umar Gul, who were in the squad for the England ODIs, have been excluded, while M Hafeez will miss the series due to an injury.

Another notable miss from the list is unlucky Khalid Latif who despite showing strong performances at domestic level as well as in international T20s once again failed to win over the selectors.

Both Asad and Umar last played in the format in 2015. Asad's previous match came in October 2015 against Zimbabwe in Harare. Umar played the last of his 111 one-day internationals in March during the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Negative comments about Umar's behaviour by former head coach Waqar Younis and ex-manager Intikhab Alam almost derailed his career. He had also been left out of the training camp in May, before the England tour, due to disciplinary reasons. He was recalled to the Twenty20 squad earlier this month after being passed over for five months.

Asad was picked after a strong showing in the recent National T20 Cup. He was the fourth-highest run-scorer with 310 at an average of 51.66 and a strike rate of 139.01.

Hafeez has been rested after suffering a calf injury. A similar injury had forced him out of the England series after the first ODI. The injury also kept him out of the T20I series against West Indies. Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam and captain Azhar Ali will fulfill the top-order responsibilities. Azhar's captaincy will also be under scrutiny in the series, following the 4-1 series defeat to England earlier this month.

Sohail, who has played 12 ODIs between 2008 and 2015, with the last one during the 2015 World Cup, was picked in place of Gul who had a disappointing series against England. Gul took 3 for 23 against Ireland but had a tougher time in the ODIs against England. He took three wickets in as many matches at an average of 54.

Star leg-spinner Yasir Shah has been retained despite going wicketless in two matches against England, while left-armer Imad Wasim will lead the spin-bowlin all-rounders also including M Nawaz and Shoaib Malik. The first in the three-match series will be played in Sharjah on Friday before games on October 2 and October 5. The series will play a major role in Pakistan's quest for automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup, with the qualification cut-off date just 12 months away.

Pakistan will start the series in ninth place on the International Cricket Council ODI rankings, eight points behind the eighth-ranked Windies, with only tournament hosts England and the top seven in the standings come the end of September next year automatically qualifying for the tournament. The remaining two places for the slimmed-down 10-team tournament will be decided at a 2018 qualifying event in Bangladesh.

A 3-0 series victory for the hosts would see them leap ahead of the Windies and into the top eight, while seventh-ranked Bangladesh are also in action in coming weeks, playing a three-match series against tenth-ranked Afghanistan.

Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan.