Pakistan will launch its bid to qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 by taking on Zimbabwe in the three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League matches in Rawalpindi on 30 October, 1 and 3 November.
Pakistan Head Coach and outgoing Chief Selector Misbah-ul Haq has announced the squad for the upcoming Zimbabwe series, starting from 30th October, in Rawalpindi.
The Zimbabwe Cricket Team is scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in Pakistan with the series starting on 30th October.
Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik has been dropped from the squad. Malik, who has scored 239 runs at a strike rate of 146.62 in the ongoing National T20 Cup has been replaced by Khushdil Shah — who scored the fastest century by a Pakistan player in T20 Cricket, off just 35 balls, while playing for Southern Punjab.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has been rested for series while one of the star performers of the recently concluded National T20 Cup, Abdullah Shafique, has been included in Pakistan’s squad. Shafique scored 358 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 133 for Central Punjab during the event.
Addressing the press conference in Lahore, Misbah said the PCB would give more chance to young players like Khushdil Shah and Haider Ali.
“The Pakistan team is already composed of young players,” he said. “It had lost two senior players right after the World Cup.
“[In fact], we might change a thing or two to make the team even stronger.”
Explaining that the Zimbabwe home series is actually important, Misbah had said: “We should keep in mind that the points earned from the ODI series would count towards the World Cup qualification.”
He had also underscored that finding new combinations and creating able back-ups were among his priorities while structuring the team.
1. Abdullah Shaifq, 2. Babar Azam, 3. Khushdil Shah, 4. Imam-ul Haq, 5. Iftikhar Ahmed, 6. Mohammad Hafeez, 7. Imad Waseem, 8. Fakhar Zaman, 9. Haris Sohail, 10. Haider Ali, 11. Mohammad Rizwan, 12. Fahem Ashraf, 13. Haris Rauf, 14. Rohail Nazir, 15. Shadab Khan, 16. Zafar Gohar, 17. Usman Qadir, 18. Mohammad Hasnain, 19. Mohammad Musa, 20. Shaheen Shah, 21. Wahab Riaz, 22. Abid Ali
ODI Series Schedule:
1st ODI: 30 October, Pindi Cricket Stadium
2nd OD: 01 November, Pindi Cricket Stadium
3rd ODI: 03 November, Pindi Cricket Stadium
T20I Series Schedule:
1st T20I: 07 November, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
2nd T20I: 08 November, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore
3rd T20I: 10 November, Gaddafi Stadium Lahore