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Pakistan includes uncapped Asif Afridi, Mohammad Haris in ODI, T20I squads for Australia series

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  • Left-arm spinner Asif Afridi and Mohammad Haris have earned selectors’ nod due to their “impressive” domestic performances, says PCB. 
  • PCB says selectors have included 20 players in the ODI squad and 17 for the only T20I.
  • Board says squad will assemble in Lahore on March 22 and will join national team after undergoing three-day room isolation.

LAHORE: Pakistan has included uncapped Asif Afridi and Mohammad Haris in the limited-overs squad that will take on Australia in the three ODIs and one-off T20I.

“Left-arm spinner Asif and wicketkeeper/batter Haris have earned the selectors’ nod as result of their impressive performances in the domestic circuit as the selectors have continued to provide opportunities to high-performing players as part of their strategy to increase the pool of top-class cricketers and developing a formidable bench-strength,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement.

On the other hand, Mohammad Nawaz, who was withdrawn from the Test series injury, has also been included in the squad. But his selection is subject to a fitness test.

The PCB said that the selectors have included 20 players in the ODI squad and 17 for the only T20I. Abdullah Shafique, Imam-Ul-Haq and Saud Shakeel have not been included in the T20 squad.

Chair of the Selection Committee Muhammad Wasim, while congratulating Asif and Haris, said that their inclusion “is a reward for their hard work and consistent performances in the domestic circuit”.

“Australia are an equally outstanding team in the shorter formats of the game and, as such, we have decided to go with the best available and most experienced players. The four white-ball matches have significant context as the 50-over games count towards the 2023 World Cup qualification and the 20-over will be a repeat of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final,” said the chief selector.

According to the PCB, the squad will assemble in Lahore on March 22 and will undergo three-day room isolation. Once the isolation ends the players will be allowed to integrate with the national side.

Australia is ranked No 3 in ODIs, while they are the reigning T20 world champions, whereas Pakistan is ranked sixth and third in the 50-over and 20-over formats, respectively.

In the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, Australia is seventh and Pakistan ninth. The top seven ranked sides from this event plus ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 hosts India will qualify directly for the pinnacle 50-over competition, which will be staged next year in October/November.

ODI squad 

Babar Azam (captain)

Shadab Khan (vice-captain)

Abdullah Shafique 

Asif Afridi 

Asif Ali 

Fakhar Zaman 

Haider Ali 

Haris Rauf 

Hasan Ali

Iftikhar Ahmed

Imam-Ul-Haq 

Khushdil Shah

Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper) 

Mohammad Nawaz 

Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper) 

Mohammad Wasim Jnr 

Saud Shakeel 

Shaheen Shah Afridi 

Shahnawaz Dahani 

Usman Qadir

T20I squad 

Babar Azam (captain)

Shadab Khan (vice-captain)

Asif Afridi 

Asif Ali 

Fakhar Zaman 

Haider Ali 

Haris Rauf 

Hasan Ali 

Iftikhar Ahmed 

Khushdil Shah 

Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper) 

Mohammad Nawaz 

Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper) 

Mohammad Wasim Jnr 

Shaheen Shah Afridi Shahnawaz Dahani 

Usman Qadir

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Rain cancels out Pakistan vs. New Zealand’s opening Twenty20 international

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As the rain returned, Shaheen Shah Afridi’s expertly timed in-swinger to dismiss Tim Robinson left only a two-ball match going on at the Pindi Cricket Stadium.

On-field umpires Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza shook hands with the players and decided to call off the contest as soon as the rain started up again. Additionally, there was a thirty-minute delay in the planned fixture toss. Then, after winning the coin toss, Michael Bracewell, the captain of New Zealand, decided to bat first.

The players from both sides assembled shortly after for the national anthems, but more rain caused the proceedings to be postponed.

The match appeared likely to be called off before a ball was played due to the intensity of the second spell of rain. But after the rain stopped, the ground crew worked extremely hard, and the game might go into five overs.

The second game, which takes place at the same location on April 20, will pit the two teams against one another.

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Azhar Mahmood suggests that Babar Azam should also take a break.

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Azhar Mahmood stated during a Rawalpindi press conference that, depending on the circumstances, any player, including Babar Azam, might be substituted during the five-match series.

“We shall endeavor to choose the top 11 players available for each game, taking the circumstances into consideration, in accordance with policy,” he continued.

The team’s management hasn’t chosen the starting duo yet, according to Azhar Mahmood in response to a query. “Who will open the inning has not been decided upon yet. Saim-Rizwan, Babar-Saim, or even Fakhar Zaman may start the inning as the opening duo, he continued.

With an emphasis on the team’s strong makeup and tactical preparations for their forthcoming home series against New Zealand, the head coach also conveyed his confidence in his team’s ability.

The coach expressed his faith in the team’s makeup, saying that it consists of a mix of skilled batters, quick bowlers, and adaptable all-around players.

Imad Wasim, an all-rounder, and Mohammad Amir, a fast bowler, were among the returning veterans that Azhar Mahmood believed strengthened the team. His statement went like this: “Their return will definitely strengthen our team.”

In response to a query, he described the New Zealand players as potential stars and dismissed the idea that they were a “B Team” that had been sent to face Pakistan.

Their extensive domestic cricket expertise is shown by the date. No side is weak in T20 cricket, and they are their best player. “They’re playing Pakistan; this is the New Zealand team,” Azhar Mahmood continued.

Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi, according to the head coach, is fully fit and eligible for the series beginning on April 18.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Irfan Khan Niazi, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan

Reserves: Haseebullah, Mohammad Ali, Agha Salman, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Wasim Jr.

New Zealand squad

Michael Bracewell (c), Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (WK), Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell, Zak Foulkes.

Pakistan vs New Zealand T20I series schedule

April 18 — 1st T20I, Rawalpindi

April 20 — 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi

April 21 — 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi

April 25 — 4th T20I, Lahore

April 27 — 5th T20I, Lahore

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Weather in Rawalpindi: PMD prediction for the Pakistan-New Zealand T20Is

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Rain is expected to have an impact on Pakistan vs. New Zealand’s five-match Twenty20 International series.

According to meteorological projections, the city is likely to have thunderstorms and rain starting tomorrow, and the rain is predicted to continue all week.

The series’ final two games are slated to take place in Lahore.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has forecasted a “rain-windstorm/thunderstorm with an isolated hailstorm” on April 18 throughout a number of Pakistani regions, including upper/southwest Sindh, KP, Gilgit-Baltistan, Kashmir, Islamabad, Punjab, and Balochistan.

On April 20, however, precipitation was predicted by the Met Office for KP, the nation’s capital, Punjab, northeastern Balochistan, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The New Zealand team has already landed in Islamabad for an intriguing five-match Twenty20 International series against Pakistan, it should be mentioned.

Pakistan vs New Zealand T20I series:

18 April: 1st T20I, Rawalpindi (7pm Pakistan Standard Time)
20 April: 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi (7pm PST)
21 April: 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi (7pm PST)
25 April: 4th T20I, Lahore (7pm PST)
27 April: 5th T20I, Lahore (7pm PST)

Pakistan squad:
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Irfan Khan Niazi, Usama Mir, and Zaman Khan
Reserves: Haseebullah, Mohammad Ali, Agha Salman, Sahibzada Farhan, and Mohammad Wasim Jr

New Zealand squad:
Michael Bracewell (c), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Zak Foulkes, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (WK), and Ish Sodhi

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