LAHORE: Head Coach and Chief Selector Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday announced national Twenty20 International and Test squads for Australia tour ruling out former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Addressing the press conference, while announcing the squad, Misba-ul-Haq said some extremely odd things were going on in the media about sacking of Sarfaraz Ahmed from T20 and Test as captain. No conspiracy was being hatched against Sarfraz Ahmed, he said.
About a week ago Sarfraz was removed from T20 and Test as a captain.
The former skipper said the tough decision was taken following much deliberation. He also clarified that it was the board chairman’s constitutional right to change a captain.
“The decision was taken on the basis of his recent performance and it’s not end of the world. The doors are open once he proves his mettle in the domestic cricket,” he said.
Babar Azam for the first time will play as a T20 captain in national squad. The other members of shortest format of cricket will include: Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam ul Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Husnain, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Moosa Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman and Wahab Riaz.
While, the Test side will be led by Azhar Ali, who has captained in only one match against New Zealand in 2016 and Pakistan had lost it. The other members of Test squad are Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Imam ul Haq, Imran Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Moosa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah.
Misbah said the teams were decided on the basis of domestic performance and following detailed discussion with the selection committee and captain.
“We have made such a team that could challenge Australia at their home grounds. Young fast bowlers Naseem Shah and Moosa Khan have been given place in the team. We want the teams to play fearless and aggressive cricket there,” he said.