Pakistan announce jumbo squad for Zimbabwe series; leave out Mohammad Amir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik

Pakistan announce jumbo squad for Zimbabwe series; leave out Mohammad Amir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik

Rohail Nazir, who was Pakistan’s skipper in the U19 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa, also found a place in the squad.

Zimbabwe v Pakistan
Zimbabwe v Pakistan. (Photo Source: ICC)

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) named a 22-member squad for their upcoming limited-over series against Zimbabwe. The series gets underway with the ODIs from October 30 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium followed by the T20Is, starting November 7 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. For the home series, Pakistan have rested Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Amir, and Shoaib Malik.

Misbah-ul-Haq, the head coach and national selector, stated that PCB is looking to blood in new faces for the T20Is. Both the ODI and T20I series will have three matches each with the fixtures ending on November 10.

“We are trying some new players in Twenty20s but not in the ODIs because they lead towards automatic qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and are more important,” Misbah was quoted as saying in a press conference in Lahore.

Abdullah Shafiq gets maiden call-up

Pakistan have called up right-handed batsman Abdullah Shafiq, who was in scintillating form for Central Punjab in the recently-concluded National T20 Cup. In 10 matches, he smashed 358 runs, including a century against Southern Punjab in September at the Multan Cricket Stadium.

In fact, the 20-year-old Shafiq made his T20 debut in the domestic tournament itself. Prior to that, Shafiq had only played a solitary first-class match in December 2019 during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy where he managed to hammer 133 on debut with 16 fours and one six.

Rohail Nazir, who was Pakistan’s skipper in the U19 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa, also found a place in the squad. As far as Zimbabwe are concerned, their team will be arriving in Islamabad on Tuesday, October 20, and will start practising after a one-week quarantine period.

Babar Azam will be leading both the ODI and T20I teams. Pakistan returned to competitive cricket amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with the tour of England back in August. Back in 2018, they last played Zimbabwe in a bilateral series.

Here’s the Pakistan squad:

Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafiq, Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Zafar Gohar, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Shaheen Shah, Wahab Riaz.