Abdullah Shafiq named among 22 players for series against Zimbabwe
LAHORE: Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday named 22 probables for the ODI and T20I series against Zimbabwe, insisting he has opted for experience in the 50-over matches and provided extended run to the youngsters in the T20I format.
Pakistan have not played ODIs since the home series against Sri Lanka 12 months ago and the Rawalpindi matches will be part of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League from which the seven top-ranked sides, apart from hosts India, will qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
For the Lahore T20Is, the selectors have preferred continuity and consistency, while acknowledging the just concluded National T20 Cup had provided some exciting talent, which will be considered for the Pakistan and Shaheens’ next month tour to New Zealand and early next year’s home T20Is.
The selectors have rewarded Central Punjab’s Abdullah Shafiq with a call-up after the 20-year-old former Pakistan U19 batsman finished as the seventh most successful batsman in the National T20 Cup with 358 runs with a strike-rate of over 133. Abdullah scored a century on his T20 debut, becoming only the second player in history to make a century on both first-class and T20 debuts.
Shoaib Malik, who was player of the final, has made way for Abdullah Shafiq, while Rohail Nazir has been named as Mohammad Rizwan’s back-up wicketkeeper. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was part of the squad for the England tour, has been encouraged to feature in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, starting 25 October, so that he rediscovers better form ahead of the New Zealand tour.
Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Naseem Shah were not considered for selection as they are recovering from injuries, but have been advised to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy to prove their fitness before they are considered for selection.
Batsmen – Abdullah Shafiq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Hafeez
Wicketkeepers – Mohammad Rizwan and Rohail Nazir
Spinners – Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir and Zafar Gohar
Fast bowlers – Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Shaheen Shah and Wahab Riaz