Wicket-keeper batsman and former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has been re-instated in the Pakistan T20 squad for the first time since he was axed from captaincy.
Pakistan announced their 17-man T20 squad for the 3-match series against England later this month. The squad, named by head coach Misbah ul-Haq, also consists of senior members such as Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, who earned call-ups to the squad earlier this year, for the T20 series against Bangladesh.
The likes of Haris Rauf, Pakistan U19 star Haider Ali and Wahab Riaz, who have played no role in the currently ongoing Test series against England, have been included in the T20 squad. Opening batsman Fakhar Zaman has also been recalled to the side. He will be taking the spot of Shan Masood, who finished as the third-highest Pakistani runscorer for Multan Sultans in this year’s PSL behind Babar Azam and Shadab Khan while handling leadership duties.
11 of the 17 players picked for the upcoming series were also part of the T20Is against Bangladesh. Mohammad Amir and Naseem Shah are notable recalls, while Ahsan Ali and Mohammad Musa do not make the cut.
Misbah ul-Haq said, “This is mostly the same team which has been featuring in the shortest format for us. Besides retaining the core, we have inducted youngsters like Haider Ali, who has performed well in the HBL PSL, U-19 and first-class cricket, and Naseem Shah as we had an opportunity to keep a bigger pool due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also increases our options.
“Our two experienced bowlers in Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have also returned to the side, along with Fakhar Zaman and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
“Usually, the T20I team comes together for a brief period but due to the current situation most of the players have been here with us for more than a month and it has provided us a good opportunity to work on the development of the team and the young players. So, even the players who might not get an opportunity to play will benefit from the experience they are getting here.
“It is going to be a competitive series as England are a strong side. We are looking forward to play good cricket and win the series.”
Babar Azam will captain the T20I side, a role he has assumed since Pakistan’s tour of Australia in November last year. Pakistan are yet to win a bilateral away series against a Full Member since January 2018, when they beat New Zealand 2-1. All three T20Is will be played at the Emirates Old Trafford starting from August 28.