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Preliminary Pakistan squad finalised for Zimbabwe, New Zealand series

The two squads will be announced together in the second week of October

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan has finalised the preliminary squad for the series against Zimbabwe and the tour of New Zealand while an official announcement is expected in the second week of October.

The two squads will be announced together in order to ensure that Covid-19 SOP’s are enforced adequately while making travel arrangements for New Zealand easier for management and players.

The head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq has had a thorough meeting with the provincial team coaches to draft the preliminary squads.

According to sources, there was a consensus in including youngsters Abdullah Shafiq, Zeeshan Ashraf and Zeeshan Malik to the 36-man squads. All three youngsters have displayed strong performances in the ongoing National T20 Cup in Multan. They have maintained a good track record in domestic cricket in the past as well. Spinner Usman Qadir is also expected to be a part of the squad after missing out in the tour of England.

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Misbah has already stated that youngsters would be considered over seniors in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe, while no major changes are expected for the tour of New Zealand.

Zimbabwe will play three ODIs, in Multan, and three T20Is, in Rawalpindi, on the tour — starting on October 30.

The senior men’s team will play two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals in New Zealand, beginning on December 18, whereas the Pakistan-A side will feature in two four-day games and six T20s.

It should be noted that the Pakistan-A side has been renamed as Pakistan Shaheen team and the players selected for the senior side will also be eligible to play for the junior side during the tour of New Zealand.