Pakistan cricket team head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday announced a possible 22-member Pakistan squad for the series against Zimbabwe, in which senior players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed have failed to find a place.
Pakistan has been hosting a three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe since late October and a three-match T20 series thereafter. The first T20 match will be played on October 30.
Pakistan cricket team has not played an ODI match in the last 12 months. The ODI series in this tour is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League and is the qualifying round of the 2023 World Cup.
On this occasion, Misbah has considered feeding young players for T20 and experienced players for ODIs. The 22 players in the potential squad have been selected for both the ODI and T20 matches.
Babar Azam will captain the team in both formats and Shadab Khan has been appointed vice-captain. Along with Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazar has been kept as the backup wicket keeper.
Misbah said that young players like Abdullah Shafiq have been given place in place of Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed. Apart from Abdullah Shafiq’s century in the National T20 League, his good performance has led to his place in the squad.
The chief selector said that this “does not mean that his career is over”, while former Pakistan cricket captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been asked to start his tour of New Zealand from October 25. The upcoming Quaid-e-Azam can restore his form in the trophy.
The PCB did not include Hassan Ali and Naseem Shah in the squad due to injuries. Fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari have been replaced by Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa Khan.
After Zimbabwe’s tour of Pakistan, the South African team is also expected to visit Pakistan.
Possible 22-member squad
Babar Azam (Captain), Shadab Khan (Vice Captain), Abdullah Shafiq, Abid Ali, Fakhr Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdal Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Emad Wasim, Zafar Gohar, Usman Qadir, Fahim Ashraf, Harif Rauf, Muhammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Wahab Riaz