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17-member squad for T20I Pak-NZ series announced

Pa
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday announced the much-awaited 17-member national squad for the upcoming T20I home series against New Zealand.

Pacer Mohammad Amir and all-rounder Imad Wasim, who recently reversed their retirement, have made a comeback in the squad for the series, Geo News reported.

Meanwhile, Usman Khan and Muhammad Irfan Khan will debut for the national side. The two highly talented players earned the selectors’ nod following impressive performances in the recently concluded ninth edition of the Pakistan Super League.

Babar Azam will lead the team in the five-match series after his reinstatement as white-ball skipper. The five-match T20I series is scheduled to take place on April 18 and the visiting team will reach Pakistan on April 14.

Speaking during the press conference, Wahab Riaz, who is a selection committee member and senior team manager, said that the PCB has announced a squad of 17 players and five have been kept as reserves, which means that they will be relied upon to perform well ahead of finalising the World Cup squad before April 25.

“We will finalise which boys will be part of the World Cup squad from Pakistan before April 25.” Commenting on the return of Babar as captain as well as the lack of a vice-captain in the team, Wahab said: “Babar Azam is the white ball captain.

As far as the vice-captain is concerned, discussions are still continuing. We want somebody to stand by Babar. We will look into everything that is beneficial for the betterment of the team and make announcements later.”

Wahab also provided an injury update on pacer Haris Rauf, saying he will “probably be fit for the England series” but will miss the five T20Is against New Zealand.

“The decision to include Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir was a straightforward one, given their availability for selection and considering Haris Rauf’s injury and Mohammad Nawaz’s current form,” the selector was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the PCB.

“Both Amir and Imad possess undeniable match-winning capabilities, and we trust they will consistently deliver strong performances to bolster the team’s objectives,” he added.

Squad Babar Azam (C), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Irfan Niazi, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan, Zaman Khan, Usama Mir Non-travelling reserves Haseebullah, Muhammad Ali, Wasim Jr, Sahibzada Farhan, Salman Ali AghaPakistan vs New Zealand T20I series schedule: April 14 — New Zealand arrive in Pakistan; April 16-17 — Training/practice; April 18 — 1st T20I, Rawalpindi; April 20 — 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi; April 21 — 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi; April 25 — 4th T20I, Lahore; April 27 — 5th T20I, Lahore.