LAHORE, Jan 26 (APP):The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selectors have named a 15-player T20I squad for the upcoming series against South Africa, which includes one change from the one that defeated Australia and New Zealand by identical 3-0 margins.
In the announced squad, fast bowler Mohammad Amir has returned to the side and has replaced Waqas Maqsood.
The matches will be held on February 1, 3 and 6 in Cape Town, Johannesburg and at Centurion, respectively, with top-ranked Pakistan aiming to stretch their unbeaten run to beyond nine matches. In 2018, Pakistan won a world record 17 out of 19 T20Is.
Asif Ali and Sahibzada Farhan have been drafted in the side that is presently involved in One-Day Internationals, while the players returning home following the 50-over matches are: Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood.
Asif had a successful Mzansi Super League in South Africa where he scored 150 runs at a strike-rate of over 180 for the Cape Town Blitz. In a 16-match T20I career, Asif has scored 237 runs at a strike-rate of just under 140.
Farhan has scores of 0, 39 and one in his three T20I innings, but he has scored 452 runs in 22 T20 matches at a strike-rate of under 110.
Chairman of Pakistan cricket selectors, Inzamam-ul-Haq, said here on Saturday “Once again, the selectors have gone ahead with the policy of maintaining consistency and retaining a winning combination”.
“While our focus is very much on this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup, we cannot forget that the ICC T20 World Cup is in Australia in the second half of 2020. So, we need to give as much exposure and experience to our up and coming players as possible, but without compromising on the assignments in hand”, he said
Squad (in alphabetical order): Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Usman Shinwari.
As per schedule, 1st T20I would be played on February 1 at Cape Town, 2nd T20I on February 3 at Johannesburg while 3rd T20I on February 6 at Centurion.