All-rounder Shadab Khan will be leading Pakistan in their three-match T20I series against Afghanistan starting from March 24 onwards, with senior players like regular skipper Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Rizwan and key pacers like Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf being rested.
Pakistan has rested key players and named a new-look side filled with fresh talent, with the onus on managing the workloads as well preparation for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.
In addition, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Khushdil Shah failed to find a spot in the squad.
These players had formed the crux of Pakistan’s squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
In their place, four uncapped players – Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan – have been named in the 15-man squad.
Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim have also been recalled to the side.
“I want to congratulate Shadab Khan on his appointment as the Pakistan team captain for the series against Afghanistan,” said Najam Sethi, the chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s Management Committee, as quoted by ICC.
“Shadab Khan has been the Pakistan vice-captain in white-ball cricket for the past couple of years and it is logical that he takes over the side in the absence of Babar Azam for the short three-match T20I tour of Sharjah.”
“For the short Sharjah tour and to ensure continuity, we have also appointed Mohammad Yousuf as the interim head and batting coach.”
“Yousuf has been with the national side since last year as a batting coach and has also been working in the National High-Performance Centre,” concluded Najam.
Haroon Rashid, the Chair of the selection committee, said the rotation policy employed would enable Pakistan to test the skill set of the talent pool.
“For the short three-T20I series against Afghanistan, the selection committee has followed the standard rotation policy by resting the leading performers and providing high-performing domestic performers with opportunities to demonstrate their talent and potential at the international level,” he said.
“This will also allow us to test the temperament and abilities of these players and help us to strengthen our pool of players as we look forward to building and preparing a formidable side for next year’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States,” concluded Rashid.
The matches will be held on March 24, March 26 and March 27.
Pakistan squad: Shadab Khan (c), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan, Tayyab Tahir, Shan Masood, Saim Ayub. (ANI)