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Pakistan vs Australia: Umar Akmal returns as hosts announce squad for the ODI series

Sarfaraz Ahmed has been rested.

Umar Akmal
Umar Akmal. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Pakistan and Australia will battle it out in the five-match ODI series in the United Arab Emirates starting March 22. The Green Army will be coming off a 2-3 ODI series and 1-2 T20I series loss to South Africa in the latter’s backyard. Meanwhile, the Australian team is currently battling the Indian team in a series of five ODI matches. The five-match ODI series against Pakistan will be the last international games for Australia before the World Cup.

Pakistan will also play an ODI series against England on English soil before the mega event in England and Wales commences. Earlier, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had requested Cricket Australia (CA) to play some of the matches in Pakistan, but the latter refused and so the matches will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium in Sharjah, Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.

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Pakistan announces the 16-man squad for ODI series

Pakistan Cricket Board, on Friday, March 5, 2019, announced a 16-man squad to take on Australia in UAE. The squad sees the ever so experienced Shoaib Malik leading the Pakistani team in place of Sarfaraz Ahmed, who is amongst the six players who have been rested for the series.

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq clarified that the decision to leave out six players was to ensure that the players got enough rest in the build-up to the ICC World Cup 2019. In place of Sarfaraz, Mohammad Rizwan will keep wickets. Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan have found a place in the squad. Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, and Haris Sohail continue to feature in the national team.

Umar Akmal makes a return to the Pakistani team and a couple of new faces in Mohammad Hasnain and Saad Ali are included in the team, along with the veteran leg spinner Yasir Shah.

Pakistan squad for ODI series against Australia in UAE:

Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah

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