PAK and NZ | Pakistan announce squad for ODI series, Haris Sohail and Fakhar Zaman return

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Pakistan have named their squad for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, recalling Haris Sohail and Fakhar Zaman. The team announcement also included the first call-ups of Tayab Tahir, Usama Mir and Kamran Ghulam for their performances in the Pakistan Cup.

Pakistan have recalled middle-order batsman Haris Sohail and fly-half Fakhar Zaman for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand. Sohail played his last ODI in 2020 against Zimbabwe, while Fakhar last played in an ODI against the Netherlands in August. The squad also includes newcomers Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir and Kamran Ghulam due to their performances in the recently concluded Pakistan Cup. Acting Chief Selector Shahid Afridi said that he wanted to give regular performers a chance before the start Asian Cup.

“Last year we were limited to ODI cricket and this year we plan to play 11 ODIs before participating in the ACC Asia Cup and then the World Cup under familiar conditions. So we will try to make the most of these 11 ODIs by giving our regulars opportunities to select the best players available for the two important tournaments,” Afridi said at a press conference.

Tayab was the top scorer in the One Day Cup with 573 runs at an average of around 48 from 12 and a strike rate of around 100 for Central Punjab. Ghulam was the fourth highest run-scorer with 435 runs in six innings at an average of 145 at a strike rate of 101.16. Mir was also rewarded for his performance in the tournament, taking 28 wickets in 11 innings with an economy rate of 5.38.

Shadab Khan had to leave the squad after he injured his finger Major League Baseball. A scan revealed a fractured index finger and the bowler was told to rest for at least three weeks. Reflecting on Shadab’s injury, Afridi said Pakistani players may not get NOCs to play elsewhere in the domestic season.

“I am totally against players going abroad to play cricket in the domestic season. They should definitely be allowed to visit during the off-season. We allowed some players to go to the Bangladesh Premier League but I said, “I told all the boys to come back 10 days before the PSL. This is Pakistan’s league and brand, it needs to be given time,” he explained.

Pakistan ODI squad for New Zealand series: Babar Azam (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Salman Agha, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayab Tahir, Usama Mir

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