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Tuesday 31st January 2023 / 7 Jamadilakhir 1444

Misbah announces 22-member squad for Zimbabwe series

LAHORE: Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq named 22 probables for the ODI and T20 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 has not played ODIs since the home series against Sri Lanka twelve months ago and the matches will be part of World Cup Super League from which the seven top-ranked sides, apart from hosts India, will qualify directly for 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 Pakistan’s tour to New Zealand next month 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.

READ MORE:Misbah-ul-Haq decides to resign as chief selector

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, to regain 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.

The probables will assemble in Lahore on 21 October for Covid-19 testing and after observing a five-day isolation period, during which they will play two 50-over matches at the Gaddafi Stadium and will travel to Rawalpindi on Monday, 26 October.

The squad for three T20Is will be shortlisted after the ODIs and players unlikely to feature in them will be advised to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy third-round matches, which will commence from 6 November.

Pakistan probables for ODIs and T20Is:

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

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