The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Monday, announced a 15-member squad, led by Shadab Khan, for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan starting from March 24 in Sharjah.
PCB management committee chairman Najam Sethi, and chief selector Haroon Rasheed made this announcement during a press conference in Lahore.
As per the PCB’s officials, senior players have been rested including regular captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Fakhar Zaman.
Likewise, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, and Muhammad Hasnain also couldn’t make it to the squad.
PCB management committee chairman Najam Sethi insisted that they have given rest to their senior players with their consultation and consent, “No one is out. We are just giving rest to our senior players to try young blood that has performed in the Pakistan Super League,” Sethi said.
He further said that he personally spoke to Babar, Shaheen, Haris, Fakhar, and Rizwan, telling them that ‘we want to give them rest and try some young players.’
While addressing speculations about sidelining Babar and company, Sethi confirmed that Babar will remain their captain, “Babar is and will remain our captain until he himself decides his captaincy future.”
He further said that the Afghanistan series is seen as preparation for the youngsters, We are not going there to win only. Our target is to try our youngsters and take an idea if they are prepared for international challenges,” said Sethi.
PCB boss also confirmed that Muhammad Yousaf has been retained as the batting coach to ‘ensure continuity.’
Shadab Khan (c)
Mohammad Wasim Jr
The last four players, Ihsan, Ayub, Tahir, and Zaman, are among the uncapped players in the newly-announced squad.
The three-match series will be played in Sharjah between March 24 and 27.
As this is going to be the first bilateral series between the two countries, Afghanistan has so far played 3 T20 Internationals and 4 ODIs against Pakistan without winning any of them.