Pakistan is scheduled to play three T20s and two Tests in New Zealand.
Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq today announced a 35-player squad for his country’s upcoming tour of New Zealand. The team will be led by Babar Azam in both formats.
The squad includes some new names such as Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt and Rohail Nazir, while Abdullah Shafique and Usman Qadir, who recently made their Pakistan debuts, were also retained.
Amir, Malik, Shafiq dropped
Inclusion of fresh faces meant that some senior names had to be chopped from the roster. These unfortunate players are left-arm pacer Mohammed Amir, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik and batsman Asad Shafiq.
Explaining the decision to drop these three players, Misbah said at a press conference, “Asad is an experienced batsman and I am sure he will utilise this time to work harder on his game in the domestic first-class matches so that he can reclaim his form and be back in contention for the upcoming Tests against South Africa and Zimbabwe.”
On Malik and Amir, the head coach said that they have been excluded as the PCB has decided to “invest, develop and focus on the promising and emerging players who are likely to be available to Pakistan for all formats.”
One veteran who did make the squad was former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. He is, however, guaranteed to play second fiddle as his direct rival, wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan, has been confirmed as vice-captain for the two Tests.
The Pakistan squad will depart for New Zealand on November 23 and will be quarantined for a mandatory period of 14 days upon arrival. The two sides will compete in the first T20 on December 18.
Openers: Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Zeeshan Malik.
Middle-order batsmen: Babar Azam (c), Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imran Butt, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez .
Wicket-keepers: Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Spinners: Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar.
Fast bowlers: Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz.
Featured Image: Twitter/ICC