The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday (May 23) announced a 16-member squad for the three-match home ODI series against West Indies, scheduled for next month.
Since the series will not be played in a Managed Event Environment, the selectors have decided to trim the 21-player squad for the Australia ODIs to 16. Players left out of the squad include Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Haider Ali and Usman Qadir while Saud Shakeel was not considered as he is scheduled to undergo a surgery for sinusitis.
Babar Azam will continue to lead the side, while Shadab Khan, who missed the ODI series against Australia due to an injury, has returned as vice-captain.
The squad includes three openers in Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, three middle-order batters in Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah, two wicketkeeper/batters in Mohammad Haris and Mohammad Rizwan, two spin all-rounders Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan with Zahid Mahmood as a wrist spinner and five fast bowlers in Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shahnawaz Dahani.
“The squad will assemble in Rawalpindi on 1 June for a training camp and Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan, who are presently playing in the English County Championship, will join the squad in time for the practice sessions,” PCB said in an official release.
Commenting on the selection, chief selector Muhammad Wasim said: “As the ODIs against the West Indies are part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, we have decided to give best chance to our side to collect maximum points and strengthen our chances of progressing directly for the pinnacle 50-over tournament. We have retained the same core of players so they further establish themselves in the format. I hope this bunch will continue the form they gained from the Australia series.
“Also, and taking into consideration that there will be no Managed Event Environment and the players can be called at a short notice, we have reduced the squad size to 16 players.
“For the Australia ODIs, we had also announced backup players as cover to those players who were carrying injuries. Players such as Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan are now fully fit, which has allowed us to leave out Asif Afridi and Usman Qadir.
“However, Usman along with Asif Ali and Haider Ali remain in our plans for the shortest format as we have a series of T20I lined up this year, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.”
All the three ODIs will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on 8, 10 and 12 June.
Pakistan squad for West Indies ODIs:
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper/batter), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper/batter), Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.
(With PCB inputs)