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Pakistan announce squad for Sri Lanka ODI series

Head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq named the 16-member squad

PHOTO: Reuters

Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq has named a 16-member squad for the upcoming One-day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka.

Opener Abid Ali, middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed, pacer Usman Shinwari, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz and wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan have made a comeback in the ODI side.

Among changes from Pakistan's 2019 World Cup squad, fast-bowlers Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi have been left out of the team due to back spasm and dengue fever, respectively. All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been dropped from the side, while Shoaib Malik has already announced retirement from the 50-over format.  

The squad for the three Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) against Sri Lanka in Lahore will be announced during the ODI series. Until then, the other players in the probables camp will continue to train at the NCA.

Speaking on this occasion, Misbah seemed confident about the squad he had put together for the series.

“After thorough discussions with the members of the selection committee and meticulous planning, I feel we have put together the best possible squad,” said Misbah. “These are the only 50-over matches we have this season and we want to make their optimum use. Over the course of my cricketing career, I have realised there are no easy games and there are no easy opponents in cricket.”

He also spoke stressed on the importance of the series, bearing in mind the challenging tour of Australia later this year.

“But, a season-opening series is crucial for setting the tone. It is extremely important that we produce solid performances and have favourable results. It will build the confidence of our players and help in carrying the momentum Down Under,” he said.

The former Pakistan captain also shared his thoughts about the changes made to the Pakistan squad.

“The five boys, who have been recalled, were straightforward selections. Iftikhar Ahmed is a batsman who can also bowl off-spin, providing the captain with necessary bowling depth as Sri Lanka boasts a few left-handers in their ranks. Mohammad Nawaz has been performing well in domestic matches.”

“Despite their strong performances, Moahmmad Rizwan, Usman Shinwari and Abid Ali were unlucky to miss out the World Cup squad. This is, however, a perfect opportunity for these players to prove their mettle in international cricket and cement their place in the one-day side,” he added.

ODI squad

Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imamul Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Usman Khan Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.