Pakistan Cricket Board recently announced a squad of 35 players for their New Zealand tour. Pakistan named Babar Azam as their new all-format captain and the 26-year-old is all set to lead his side against the Kiwis in a series of two Tests and three T20Is. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan has been named as the Vice-captain in the Tests and all-rounder Shadab Khan will assist Babar Azam in the T20Is.
Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir Left Out of Pakistan’s Expanded Squad
However, players including Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, and Mohammad Amir were left out from the long list of the players who will travel to New Zealand in December. Pakistan Cricket’s chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq explained the reason behind leaving the particular players out of the stretched squad. Misbah-ul-Haq insisted that the decision was taken in an attempt of encouraging the youngsters and handing them additional playing time overseas.
The former Pakistani batsman also added that the selection was made considering the recent form of the players. Misbah-ul-Haq stated that the New Zealand tour can turn out to be very critical for Pakistan as they are aiming to upgrade their T20Is rankings as well as to bank some points in the ICC World Test Championship. Uncapped players including Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt, and Rohail Nazir received their first international call.
Misbah-ul-Haq Wants to Encourage the Youth
“The matches in New Zealand are critical for us as we aim to improve our T20I rankings and also gain valuable points in the ICC World Test Championship. In this background and taking into consideration recent player performances, we have selected the best available players, I want to congratulate uncapped Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt, and Rohail Nazir who have impressed the selectors with their form, technique, temperament, and ability to secure places in the 35-player pool,” said Misbah-ul-Haq in a PCB statement.
Pakistan’s Squad for New Zealand Tour:
Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, and Zeeshan Malik.
Babar Azam (captain), Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Butt, Khushdil Shah, and Mohammad Hafeez.
Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, Tests), Rohail Nazir, and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan (vice-captain, T20Is), Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah, and Zafar Gohar.
Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, and Wahab Riaz. (ANI)