Pakistan have announced their preliminary squad for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe. Uncapped Abdullah Shafiq has been named in the 22-man squad for the home series. Former Pakistan Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir have been dropped from the limited-overs squad.
Pakistan Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq said that the performance has been the only criteria for the selection of players for the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe. He stated that veteran players can still make a comeback if they do well at the domestic circuit.
Pacer Wahab Riaz and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez are the two experienced players who have managed to retain their place in the limited-overs squad. Both performed well on the tour of England earlier this year.
Uncapped Abdullah Shafiq, who played exceedingly well for Central Punjab and accumulated 358 runs in the National T20 Cup competition. The 20-year old also scored maiden ton on his T20 debut and also became the second batsman in history to make a century on both his T20 and first class debuts.
U-19 hero Rohail Nazir has been named as a reserve wicket-keeper for the home series. Mohammad Rizwan is still Pakistan premier wicket-keeper for Pakistan in all three formats. Misbah-ul-Haq said that Sarfaraz is indeed part of the future plans and needs to perform well in order to make a comeback in the national setup for the tour of New Zealand. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will act as deputy to captain Babar Azam in ODI and T20 formats.
Misbah-ul-Haq said that Abdullah Shafiq richly deserves his selection to the limited-overs squad for Zimbabwe series. He further stated that Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik will need to go back to domestic cricket and perform exceedingly well in a bid to make a comeback to the national side.
Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan and Haris Rauf have been retained in order to give them an extended run in white-ball cricket. The preliminary squad will gather in Lahore on 21st October to go Covid-19 medical examination. During this time, they play two 50-over matches at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore before moving to Rawalpindi to play three-match one-day series. The final squad will be announced soon.
Pakistan’s Preliminary squad for Zimbabwe series : Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Imad Wasim, Abdullah Shafiq, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Zafar Gohar, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez Musa Khan, Shaheen Shah, Wahab Riaz