On Friday, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the squads for the upcoming tours of England and the West Indies. Pakistan will play a three-match ODI as well as T20I series against England, starting from July 08 in Cardiff.
After the England tour, the Babar Azam and Co. will travel to West Indies for the five-match T20I and two-match Test series, commencing from July 27 in Barbados.
Rookie Azam Khan, the explosive batter from Quetta Gladiators, has been picked in the T20I squad. Azam has amassed 743 runs at a brilliant strike rate of 157.41 in his T20 career so far. Apart from the uncapped player, senior lad Imad Wasim has also been selected in the T20 set-up. Imad hasn’t played a T20I game since December last year.
For the ODIs, the selectors have picked uncapped batsman Saud Shakeel, who has been a consistent run-getter in domestic cricket. Shakeel has been included in the Test squad as well. Experienced customer Haris Sohail also books a place in the ODI outfit.
When it comes to the whites, teen sensation Naseem Shah and seamer Mohammad Abbas have been recalled in the squad for the two-match Test leg against the West Indies. Both the pacers were dropped following the New Zealand series and therefore missed the home fixtures versus Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“We have remained consistent in our selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while. This is an extremely important and critical tour for Pakistan as we will be playing the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against England as well as the T20Is against England and the West Indies as part of our preparations for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The Jamaica Test will count towards the ICC World Test Championship,” said chief selector Muhammad Wasim as quoted by Cricbuzz.
“We have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges,” he added.
“Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE, and he enjoys an excellent record there. Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to clearing his fitness test,” Wasim said further.
Here are the complete squads:
ODI: Babar Azam (c), Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi and Usman Qadir, Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali.
T20I: Babar Azam (c), Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Sharjeel Khan Usman Qadir, Shadab Khan, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf.
Test: Babar Azam (c), Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imran Butt, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah (subject to fitness).