All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez returned after missing the home series against South Africa while Sharjeel Khan made a comeback to the T20I side as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced a 35-member squad for South Africa and Zimbabwe tour. The Pakistan team is slated to play three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa and three T20Is and two Tests against Zimbabwe. The seven T20Is and two Tests will count towards the ICC T20I and Test rankings, while the three ODIs against South Africa will be part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League – a 13-team competition from which the top seven sides will qualify automatically for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The 35-member Pakistan squad will depart for Johannesburg on March 26 for the three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa. They will then fly to Bulawayo on April 17 for three T20Is and two Tests against Zimbabwe.
The team is scheduled to return on May 12.
While white-ball vice-captain Shadab and Hafeez returned to the side after missing the South Africa series, Sharjeel has made a comeback to the T20I squad four years after his 15th and last T20I match.
“Sharjeel Khan has staged a comeback in the T20I squad. Although he is exactly not where we want him to be, he is not too far away,” said chief selector Muhammad Wasim in an official statement.
“With the form he has recently shown in the domestic T20 events, he deserves an opportunity to further improve his fitness and show he still has that ability to win big matches for Pakistan.
“Yasir Shah is suffering from left knee injury and requires another six weeks to fully recover. His absence has opened a door for Zahid Mahmood, who will have a stronger case in the Test squad as compared to the T20I side following the return of Shadab Khan and the presence of Usman Qadir,” he added.
“The South Africa and Zimbabwe tours are extremely important for Pakistan cricket. The seven T20Is are part of our preparation for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, while the South Africa ODIs are part of the Super League as we aim to qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023,” Wasim further said.
Two changes have been made in the 20-player Test side that defeated South Africa by seven wickets and 95 runs in Karachi and Rawalpindi respectively.
Kamran Ghulam and Yasir Shah have been replaced by Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.
Test squad: Babar Azam (c), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan
ODI squad: Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.
T20I squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal
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