- Babar, Rizwan, Shaheen, Haris, Fakhar rested for Afghanistan series.
- Mohammad Yusuf has been appointed as the coach for the UAE tour.
- The chief selector defends the decision to send senior players for short series.
LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced 15 members on Monday detachment for the upcoming T20I series against AfghanistanShadab Khan named as captain for Sharjah tour.
Ahead of the team’s announcement, PCB chief Najam Sethi said that young players who have performed in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023 will be given a chance in the series and he has accepted senior players. Babar AzamMuhammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi expressed confidence in the strategy.
In a separate press statement, Sethi congratulated Shadab on his appointment as Pakistan’s captain for the series against Afghanistan.
“Shadab Khan has been Pakistan’s vice-captain in white-ball cricket for the past two years and it is logical that he should take over the team in Babar Azam’s absence for the short three-match T20I tour in Sharjah.”
PCB chief Mohammad Yusuf has been appointed as interim manager and coaching coach for a short tour of Sharjah and to “ensure continuity”.
Yusuf has been working as a coach for the national team since last year and also works at the National High Performance Center.
Sharing the reasons for resting the senior players, Chief Selector Haroon Rasheed said he followed the standard rotation policy by resting top performers and allowing high-performing domestic performers to showcase their talent and potential at the international level.
He said it would also allow the board to test the temperament and abilities of these players and help it strengthen the player pool as they look forward to building and preparing a strong side for next year’s T20 World Cup in West Indies and United. states.
“However, and in doing so, we have ensured that Sharjah has picked a side equally strong and capable of winning the series against a strong Afghanistan side as a second home. To achieve this, we have retained seven players from the last series, recalled four experienced cricketers and combined them with four wicket-keeper batsmen to make the 15-member squad a true blend of youth and experience.”
Congratulations to Rashid Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayab Tahir and Zaman Khan on their inclusion in the national team after a series of strong performances in the domestic circuit as well as PSL 8.
Azam Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim were called up after showing that they can perform well in the PSL’s shortest format and also provide experience and stability.
“Babar, Fakhar, Haris, Rizwan and Shaheen were given short break Sharjah trip giving them an opportunity to step away from competitive cricket so they can complete their recovery, regroup, rebuild and recharge their batteries and be fully prepared for the challenges of the tough and challenging 2023-24 season.
In the last 15 months, Babar and Rizwan have been practically on the road, while Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf and Shaheen have battled injuries.
Babar has played 10 Tests, 12 ODIs, 26 T20Is and 19 PSL matches, while Rizwan has featured in eight Tests, 11 ODIs, 25 T20Is and 22 PSL matches, apart from a few matches in the Bangladesh Premier League. Haris has appeared in one Test, 10 ODIs, 23 T20Is and 23 PSL matches.
Fakhar and Shaheen have shown remarkable recovery from knee injuries by playing 10 and nine matches respectively in PSL matches. However, both the star players need more time to complete their rehabilitation to regain full match fitness.
Fakhar suffered a knee injury before and during the T20 World Cup, while Shaheen was ruled out for three months after sustaining a knee injury in the first Test at Galle in July. Although Shaheen returned for the T20 World Cup, he missed the home series against England and New Zealand in December 2022 and January 2023.
Pakistan is scheduled to play eight ODIs, seven ICC World Test Championship matches and 25 T20Is in the run-up to the 2023 50-over Asia Cup and the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. ICC T20 Men’s World Cup 2024 in next 15 months.
Shadab Khan (captain) (Islamabad United), Abdullah Shafique (Lahore Qalandars), Azam Khan (Islamabad United), Faheem Ashraf (Islamabad United), Iftikhar Ahmed (Quetta Gladiators), Ihsanullah (Multan Sultans), Imad Wasim (Karachi Kings) , Mohammad Haris (Peshawar Zalmi), Mohammad Nawaz (Quetta Gladiators), Mohammad Wasim Junior (Islamabad United), Naseem Shah (Quetta Gladiators), Saim Ayub (Peshawar Zalmi), Shan Masood (Multan Sultans), Tayyab Tahir (Karachi Kings) Zaman Khan (Lahore Kalans)
Substitute players are Abrar Ahmed (Islamabad United), Hasibullah (Peshawar Zalmi) and Usama Mir (Multan Sultans).