Sharjeel returns to T20I side as squad announced for South Africa tour

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LAHORE, MAR 12 – Opener Sharjeel Khan returned to international cricket after four years as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Friday its squads for the upcoming tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim announced the squad in a press conference at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium.

He said Sharjeel, who was named in the T20 squad, deserved an opportunity to further improve his fitness and prove he still had the ability to win matches for Pakistan.

“Although he is not exactly where we want him to be, he is not too far away,” the chief selector said.

statement from the PCB said the 31-year-old had been recalled to the T20I side four years after his 15th and last T20I match.

Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan and veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez have also returned after they missed out in the South Africa series in Pakistan. Among the newcomers are Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Wasim Junior and Shahnawaz Dahani, said the statement.

“I want to congratulate Arshad Iqbal, Mohammad Wasim Junior and Shahnawaz Dahani on their selections in the Pakistan squads. This is an acknowledgement and reward for their talent and performances in the 2020-21 domestic season,” said Wasim.

He noted that Imad Wasim, Aamer Yamin, Amad Butt and Kamran Ghulam had missed out on selections but that paved the way for Shadab and Hafeez in the T20I squad.

Wasim said the upcoming tours were “extremely important” for Pakistan cricket.

“The seven T20Is are part of our preparation for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, while the South Africa ODIs are part of the Super League as we aim to qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

“It is imperative that we do well in Zimbabwe so that we can not only carry the winning momentum forward but also prepare for tougher series in the West Indies and Bangladesh,” said Wasim.

The PCB statement noted that the T20I and ODI sides include 18 players each with 14 players featuring in both the formats, while the Test squad comprises 20 players with eight players figuring across all three formats.

These eight players are Babar Azam (captain), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

The full breakdown of the squads is as follows:

T20I: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern), Arshad Iqbal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Asif Ali (Northern), Danish Aziz (Sindh), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Mohammad Hafeez (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sharjeel Khan (Sindh) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab)

ODI: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) (Northern), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Danish Aziz (Sindh), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fakhar Zaman (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Haider Ali (Northern), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Imam-ul-Haq (Balochistan), Mohammad Hasnain (Sindh), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Mohammad Rizwan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Usman Qadir (Central Punjab)

Test: Babar Azam (captain) (Central Punjab), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab), Imran Butt (Balochistan), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern), Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh), Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shahnawaz Dahani (Sindh), Tabish Khan (Sindh) and Zahid Mahmood (Southern Punjab)

Players Support Personnel: Mansoor Rana (Manager), Misbahul Haq (head coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Col (retd) Khalid Mahmood (security manager), Malang Ali (masseur), Raza Kitchlew (digital and media manager), Dr Riaz Ahmed (team doctor), Shahid Aslam (assistant coach), Talha Butt (analyst), Waqar Younis (bowling coach), Yasir Malik (strength & conditioning coach) and Younis Khan (batting coach).

Covid testing

A training camp for the white-ball players will be held at Gaddafi Stadium from March 19.

The players are set to arrive in Lahore on March 18 after undergoing PCR tests in their respective cities. Further testing will be held on March 18, 21 and 24. The players will stay in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of their Lahore camp.

The 35-member Pakistan squad will depart for Johannesburg on March 26 for the three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa. They will then fly to Bulawayo on April 17 for three T20Is and two Tests against Zimbabwe. The side is scheduled to return on May 12.

March 26 – Departure for Johannesburg

April 2 – 1st ODI; SuperSport Park, Pretoria

April 4 – 2nd ODI; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

April 7 – 3rd ODI; SuperSport Park, Pretoria

April 10 – 1st T20I; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

April 12 – 2nd T20I; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

April 14 – 3rd T20I; SuperSport Park, Pretoria

April 16 -4th T20I; SuperSport Park, Pretoria

April 17 – Departure for Bulawayo

May 12 – Departure for Lahore from Bulawayo

The itinerary for Zimbabwe will be announced at a later time.