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LAHORE: All-rounder Shadab Khan, who has been named skipper for Pakistan for a three-T20I series against Afghanistan, has expressed optimism that national side comprising mostly new talent will show their best in the upcoming series.

The upcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan will provide opportunity to the young and exciting domestic cricketers to prove their mettle at the highest level.

Its proximity with the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 will ensure the in-form youngsters enter the series with momentum behind them, and establish themselves as reliable options ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup next year.

Pakistan will depart for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 22nd March to play Afghanistan in three T20Is at Sharjah on March 24, 26 and 27. This is the first instance of the two sides meeting in a bilateral series. Pakistan and Afghanistan have played three T20Is and four One-Day Internationals and Pakistan have come out victorious every time.

Shadab Khan, who has captained Pakistan once before for a three-T20I series against New Zealand in 2020 and will be standing-in for the upcoming series, feels that his side has what it takes to outshine. “I am grateful to the Almighty for this opportunity.

Representing your country is an honor for any cricketer and to lead it is even a bigger honor so I am very excited and eager to take this role.

This is a big responsibility as I will be leading a nation of 220 million people and I will try my best to do justice with it with all the ability that I have, Shadab said, adding: “I want to congratulate all the youngsters who have gotten selected for this series.

Whenever you start in any field, you want to go to the highest level and for a cricketer being selected for Pakistan is the best that they can achieve. This is a young unit and youngsters always bring a different spark and energy, and there is no doubt that this series is going to be very exciting.”

Shadab said, “With our top-tier rested for this series, these cricketers will be able to feel the heat and pressure of competing an international side and fully shoulder the responsibility, something that will hold them in good stead as their careers progress.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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