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Pakistan announces squad for T20I series against Afghanistan

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf have all been rested from the Pakistani team.

Lahore, 13 March 2023 (GNP): A new policy on controlling workloads and player rotation has been established by the Haroon Rasheed-led PCB selection committee for the national senior men’s team.

In preparation for a year that includes both an ODI Asia Cup and an ODI World Cup, the selection committee recently had a meeting where a key topic of discussion was the management of elite players’ workload.

Babar, Rizwan, and Haris were three players who had played a lot of cricket when the workload of each player was evaluated in terms of the number of matches played during the previous two years.

For the forthcoming series of three T20Is between Pakistan and Afghanistan in Sharjah, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf have all been rested from the Pakistani team.

Shaheen (left), Babar (mid), Rizwan (right).
Shaheen Afridi (left), Babar Azam (mid), Muhammad Rizwan (right).

Imad Wasim has been called up to the national squad, Shadab Khan has been selected as captain, Saim Ayub and Ihsanullah are both top PSL 2023 players, and has been recalled for the first time in national squad.

After unveiling the team, Rasheed stated; “While we look forward to assembling and getting ready a powerful team for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States next year, this will also provide us a chance to evaluate the temperament and skills of these individuals”.

“But we also made sure to pick a team that can win the series against a strong Afghanistan team for whom Sharjah is like a second home. In order to accomplish that, we brought back four seasoned cricketers and combined them with four untested individuals to form a 15-player team that is genuinely a blend of youth and experience”, he further added.

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Najam Sethi, stated in a news conference on Monday, “The Afghanistan Series is a training ground for testing our young players. I am not concerned with winning or losing to Afghanistan. The series is mostly about discovering and nurturing our fresh talent”.

He further added, “In all three formats, Babar will continue to serve as our captain. In Babar’s absence, Shadab Khan will captain the team since he is the vice-captain and an obvious candidate to do so”.

Star PSL performers in Squad:

Ayub has been the most impressive newcomer in PSL, scoring 309 runs with a strike rate of 167.02 in 10 games.

Tayyab Tahir has also shown signs of developing into a potent T20 player.

Ihsanullah, who has 20 wickets in the current PSL season, is a fast-bowling sensation that Multan Sultans have produced.

Zaman Khan of the Lahore Qalandars, has established a reputation as a death bowling expert after taking 12 wickets thus far.

With 193 runs at a strike rate of 144.02 in the PSL, Abdullah Shafique has also made an impression.

After scoring game-winning runs for United this season, Faheem Ashraf has made a comeback. He currently has 210 runs with a strike rate of 147.88.

Imad made 404 runs in ten innings for Kings at a strike rate of 170.46 (plus nine wickets) and made his return to national squad.

Squad against Afghanistan:

Pakistani squad in match against Afghanistan will include, Shan Masood, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan (c), Mohammad Wasim, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Tayab Tahir, Imad Wasim, Zaman Khan.