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Naseem Shah, Haider Ali included in 17-man squad for England T20Is
Pakistan News

Naseem Shah, Haider Ali included in 17-man squad for England T20Is

Pakistan have named uncapped duo Naseem Shah and Haider Ali among the 17 players shortlisted for the three-match T20I series against England.

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Fakhar Zaman have staged a return to the T20I fold while the experienced quartet of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik is also set to feature in the upcoming series.

Out of the players currently taking part in the Test series, Naseem, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi have been retained for the short-form games.

Naseem does not have many T20 caps under his belt but he impressed during his brief stint at the Pakistan Super League earlier this year where he picked five wickets in six games for Quetta Gladiators.

Haider was the standout performer from the younger lot in the T20 tournament as he scored 239 runs for Peshawar Zalmi at a high strike rate of 158.27.

“This is mostly the same team which has been featuring in the shortest format for us," Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said. "Besides retaining the core, we have inducted youngsters like Haider Ali, who has performed well in the HBL PSL, U19 and first-class cricket, and Naseem Shah as we had an opportunity to keep a bigger pool due to Covid-19 pandemic, which also increases our options."

"Our two experienced bowlers in Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have also returned to the side, along with Fakhar Zaman and Sarfaraz Ahmed," he added.

The three matches will be conducted at Old Trafford in the absence of spectators with the series opener scheduled to take place on August 28.

Babar will be in charge of the side, his third T20I assignment as captain after replacing Sarfaraz at the helm last year. This will be Pakistan's first series following their demotion to the No. 4 rank in the T20I standings after leading the charts for 27 months.

Misbah commented that preparations were satisfactory for the T20I encounters since the players were given a decent amount of time to gel together as a unit under the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Usually, the T20I team comes together for a brief period but due to the current situation most of the players have been here with us for more than a month and it has provided us with a good opportunity to work on the development of the team and the young players. So, even the players who might not get an opportunity to play will benefit from the experience they are getting here," he said.

“It is going to be a competitive series as England are a strong side. We are looking forward to playing good cricket and win the series.”

Pakistan T20I squad

Babar Azam (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz