Pakistan has announced a strong roster for their upcoming ODI series against the Netherlands and the T20I Asia Cup starting later this month.
Star-fast Shaheen Afridi has been named in both teams and is in line to make his return to cricket in the three-match Super League series against the Netherlands after missing the recent second Test against Sri Lanka last month.
Babar Azam will once again lead Pakistan after being named captain of both squads, while fast bowler Naseem Shah has been taken in place of fellow fast Hasan Ali.
There will be a total of five changes from the squad that tackles the Netherlands to the squad that participates in the Asian Cup in the UAE, with Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Haris, Salman Ali Agha and Zahid Mehmood being replaced by Asif Ali Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed and Usman Qadir.
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim is pleased with the balance of both teams and said the changes made to his side ahead of the Asian Cup are what he thinks is best for the team.
“We only made changes that were necessary,” he said.
“Both competitions are important to us and that is why we have selected our best players available in consultation with the captain and the head coach.
“Hasan has been given a break from international cricket and he has been replaced by Naseem Shah. He is fast and can give further impetus to the fast bowling division, which already consists of Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shahnawaz Dahani Naseem has not played international white ball cricket but has shown with the red ball that he is an attacking option with good pace and controlled swing.
“Salman Ali Agha has been recalled to the ODI side after performing well in the past two Pakistan Cup tournaments, averaging 40.33 and 48.8 respectively. He also gives Babar Azam an additional bowling option.”
Pakistan’s first Asian Cup match is against arch-rival India in Dubai on August 28.
Pakistani squad for Dutch ODIs: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi , Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mehmood
Pakistan squad for Asian Cup: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir