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Pakistan announce squads for ODI, T20I series against New Zealand

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Tuesday announced the squads for the one-day international (ODI) and T20 international (T20I) series against New Zealand.

Shaheen Shah Afridi is all set to return to international cricket after four months when he was named in the Pakistan squads for the series against New Zealand, which will be played in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi from April 14 to May 7.

Shaheen had missed five Tests and three ODIs against England and New Zealand post the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 as he was completing his rehabilitation following a knee injury he had sustained during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in July.

He had subsequently missed the second Test against Sri Lanka, ODI series against the Netherlands, ACC Asia Cup in the UAE and seven-match T20I series in Pakistan.

The 22-year-old, who has taken 99 Test, 62 ODI and 58 T20I wickets, staged a remarkable comeback in the Pakistan Super League 8 when he inspired Lahore Qalandars to become the first side to successfully defend the title.

Not only that, Shaheen’s own performance was outstanding both with the bat and the ball — he scored 133 runs at a strike-rate of 168.35 and grabbed 19 wickets at an economy-rate of 9.13. He was rightly named captain of Team of HBL PSL 8.

Apart from Shaheen, also returning to both the squads are Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Rizwan. All these players had rested for last month’s three-T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah.

This means Babar Azam will resume his normal services as captain in the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand, while Shadab will return to his original position as vice-captain.

Three young guns — Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub and Zaman Khan — have been retained in the T20I squad following stellar performances in Sharjah, while Ihsanullah has also been added to the ODI squad for the first time in his career.

The squad will assemble in Lahore on 6 April where the training camp will commence on 7 April.

Squads

T20I: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan

ODI: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Ihsanullah, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usama Mir. Reserves: Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed and Tayyab Tahir

Series schedule (T20Is to start at 9pm; ODIs to begin at 3.30pm):

14 Apr – 1st T20I, Lahore

15 Apr – 2nd T20I, Lahore

17 Apr – 3rd T20I, Lahore

20 Apr – 4th T20I, Rawalpindi

24 Apr – 5th T20I, Rawalpindi

27 Apr – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi

29 Apr – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi

3 May – 3rd ODI, Karachi

5 May – 4th ODI, Karachi

7 May – 5th ODI, Karachi

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Shaheen Afridi’s potential absence from the Bangladesh Test match is attributed to personal circumstances. Jason

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Jason Gillespie, the head coach of the Pakistan Red Ball team, may not be able to attend the Bangladesh Test owing to personal issues, as discussed informally with Shaheen Shah Afridi.

“Shaheen Afridi has accumulated a considerable amount of experience in the game of cricket,” remarked Jason Gillespie.

Jason Gillespie stated that Shaheen had bowled three times as much as Starc in a year. “Shaheen Shah Afridi is also involved in playing leagues across all three formats,” he stated.

The coach of the Pakistan cricket team emphasised the importance of effectively managing the workload of the fast bowlers from Pakistan. He specified that Shaan Masood will be leading the test crew.

“Although I have not yet had the opportunity to meet Shaan in person, I have been maintaining regular communication with him over the phone,” stated Jason Gillespie. Jason Gillespie stated that he encountered captain Babar Azam in Lahore.

The Pakistan team’s training camp for the upcoming series against Bangladesh is scheduled to commence in the first week of August.

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The captain for the Pakistan Shaheens team for the Darwin tour has been announced.

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Sahibzada Farhan, a prominent batsman, has been appointed as the captain of the Pakistan Shaheens’ team for the upcoming four-day matches against Bangladesh A in Darwin, Australia.

The Pakistan Shaheens will engage in two four-day matches against the Bangladesh ‘A’ team, after which they will participate in a tri-series with the Northern Territory team and Bangladesh in Darwin. In addition, they will also take part in the Top End T20 Series, which consists of nine teams.

However, the tour has seen the unfortunate absence of the promising fast bowler Hunain Shah, who has been unable to participate due to an injury. As a result, Qasim Akram has been selected as his replacement in the squad.

The Pakistan Shaheens will depart for Brisbane early on Saturday morning via Dubai. They will journey from Brisbane to Darwin at a later time.

Pakistan’s red-ball head coach, Jason Gillespie, will be traveling to Darwin to serve as the team’s head coach for the two four-day matches.

The Pakistan Shaheens squad

The team consists of Sahibzada Farhan (captain), Haseebullah, Qasim Akram, Kamran Ghulam, Kashif Ali, Khurram Shahzad, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Huraira, Mubasir Khan, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Omair Bin Yousuf, Shahnawaz Dahani, Tayyab Tahir, Umar Amin, and Mohammad Ali.

The layer support personnel for the team include Jason Gillespie, who serves as the head coach for red-ball matches and will also oversee the camp from 8-13 July. Abdul Rehman is the head coach for white-ball matches and will join the team on 28 July. Mohammad Masroor is the assistant coach-cum-manager and camp commandant from 24 June-7 July. The team also has Mohammad Asad as the physiotherapist, Imranullah as the trainer, and Usman Hashmi as the analyst.

Timetable (all games in Darwin)

On July 14th, we will arrive in Darwin.
19-22 July: Four-day match against Bangladesh ‘A’
26-29 July: Four-day match against Bangladesh ‘A’
On August 4th, there will be a 50-over cricket match against the Northern Territory (NT).
On August 6th, there will be a 50-over cricket match against the Bangladesh ‘A’ team.
From August 9th to August 18th, there will be a nine-team event. High-level T20 Series

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An ex-cricketer proposes Mohammad Rizwan as the skipper for white-ball cricket.

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Mohammad Rizwan, the wicketkeeper batter, has been proposed by former Pakistani bowler Sarfaraz Nawaz to lead the team in white-ball cricket.

The former fast bowler backed Rizwan, who took the Multan Sultans to three straight PSL finals, in an interview with a local news source.

“[Mohammad] Rizwan has demonstrated his leadership abilities by assisting KPK in winning all local competitions in the past, and his record as Multan Sultans’ captain has been steadfast over time. He is the ideal candidate for the position. He declared, “Babar Azam lacks confidence and shouldn’t be considered for the position.

For those who don’t know, Babar Azam, Pakistan’s current white-ball captain, has come under fire after the country’s men’s squad exited the T20 World Cup 2024 early.

In addition, Sarfaraz Nawaz offered significant suggestions for enhancing the selection process in response to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) recent decision to remove former players Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq from the national selection committee.

The former footballer stated, “The selection committee has worked collectively, as was evident during the pre-World Cup press conference, with every member admitting that the team was constituted after consensus.”

“Since every committee member was in charge of the choice, they should all be fired. The whole selection committee failed to live up to expectations.

“If we hope to get the system back on track at all, major surgery is necessary. The removal of Wahab and Abdul Razzaq alone would not be sufficient; a three-person selection committee is required.

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