New Zealand tour: Pakistan recall Sarfaraz Ahmed for T20I series
Pakistan have recalled former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, starting December 18. The 18-member squad named by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also comprises all-rounder Hussain Talat, who earned another call-up after nearly two years. The duo replaces Zafar Gohar and Rohail Nazir in the set-up. Here is more on the same.
Wicket-keeper Sarfaraz is back into the T20I fold after missing the Zimbabwe series. He last made an appearance in the England T20I series (2020). In 2019, he was sacked as captain and later dropped from the national squad. Meanwhile, Talat featured in the T20I series against South Africa, last year. So far, he has scored 371 runs and taken four wickets from 14 T20Is.
Pakistan's T20I squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir and Wahab Riaz.
The 16-member Pakistan Shaheens squad for the four-dayers will be led by the 19-year-old Rohail Nazir. The squad includes a number of Pakistan Test regulars, including Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, and Yasir Shah among others. Notably, the two practice games will be played ahead of the T20I series, on December 10-13 and 17-20 respectively.
Pakistan Shaheens' squad: Rohail Nazir (captain), Abid Ali, Amad Butt, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Malik.
Interestingly, the Pakistan cricket team is still refrained from training after several cricketers tested positive for COVID-19. However, as per the official schedule, the tour is due to kick-off with the three-match T20I series on December 18. The final two T20Is will be played on December 20 and 22 respectively. A two-Test series will follow the T20Is (December 26 to January 7).