- 18-player T20I and ODI squads named, 20-player Test side confirmed; 14 players feature in both T20I and ODI sides, eight players earn selectors’ nod across all formats.
- Mohammad Hafeez and Shadab Khan return after missing South Africa series, Sharjeel Khan recalled to T20I side; Yasir Shah not available for Zimbabwe Tests due to left knee injury.
Pakistan cricket selectors on Friday announced that squads for tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe, where national men’s side will play seven T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests.
The seven T20Is and two Tests will count towards the ICC T20I and Test Team Rankings, while the three ODIs against South Africa will be part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team competition from which the top seven sides will qualify automatically for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The 35-member Pakistan squad will depart for Johannesburg on 26 March for the three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa. They will then fly to Bulawayo on 17 April for three T20Is and two Tests against Zimbabwe. The side is scheduled to return on 12 May.
Prior to their departure for Johannesburg, a training camp for the white-ball players will be held at the Gaddafi Stadium from 19 March.
The players will arrive in Lahore on 18 March following 16 March PCR tests in their respective cities and will undergo further PCR tests on 18, 21 and 24 March. During the Lahore camp, the players will remain in a bio-secure environment.
The T20I and ODI sides include 18 players each with 14 players featuring in both the formats, while the Test squad comprises 20 players with eight players figuring across all three formats.
These eight players are Babar Azam (captain), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shaheen Shah Afridi. T20I Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Arshad Iqbal, Asif Ali, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sharjeel Khan and Usman Qadir.
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Qadir.
Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tabish Khan and Zahid Mahmood.
Pakistan white-ball vice-captain Shadab Khan and T20I specialist Mohammad Hafeez have returned to the side after missing the South Africa series.
In addition to the two experienced campaigners, the selectors have also recalled 31-year-old left-handed opener Sharjeel Khan to the T20I side, four years after his 15th and last T20I match.
The newcomers in the white-ball squads are 20-year-old Swabi-born fast bowler Arshad Iqbal (T20I squad) and 19-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Wasim Jnr from North Waziristan (both T20I and ODI squads).
Fast bowler Shahnawaz Dahani is the only new face in the 20-player Test squad. The 22-year-old from Larkana took 26 wickets in his debut first-class season for Sindh after picking up six wickets in the second eleven National T20 Cup.
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim: “I want to congratulate Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Wasim Junior and Shahnawaz Dahani on their selections in the Pakistan squads. This is an acknowledgement and reward for their talent and performances in the 2020-21 domestic season.
“Representing the country at a global stage is the biggest honour and achievement for any professional athlete. I am confident these selections for important tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe will inspire and motivate these budding youngsters to produce more impressive and consistent performances so that they can justify the faith and confidence exposed on them by the team management and selectors.
“The South Africa and Zimbabwe tours are extremely important for Pakistan cricket. The seven T20Is are part of our preparation for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, while the South Africa ODIs are part of the Super League as we aim to qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
“Test cricket remains the pinnacle format and are the health-check of any cricket playing country. We have limited Tests this year with three-Test series against West Indies and two-Test series against Bangladesh planned. As such, it is imperative that we do well in Zimbabwe so that we can not only carry the winning momentum forward but also prepare for tougher series in the West Indies and Bangladesh.”