Home Sports Asad Shafiq loses his spot; Amir and Shoaib also fall out of...

Asad Shafiq loses his spot; Amir and Shoaib also fall out of favour

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The Pakistani selectors on Wednesday dropped veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik and pacer Mohd. Amir from a 35-member squad for the upcoming New Zealand tour. Another senior player Asad Shafiq, who has played 77 Tests, was left out “due to lack of form”.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced a combined squad, which includes players for the senior team and the Shaheen’s (Pakistan A) side. It did not specify which player belongs to which squad.

Pakistan plays three T20Is on December 18, 20 and 22 before its ICC World Test Championship fixtures to be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch from December 26-30 and January 3-7 respectively.

The scheduled of the Shaheens is yet to be confirmed by New Zealand Cricket though it is expected to be played concurrently. The squad will depart for New Zealand on November 23.

Babar Azam has already been announced Pakistan captain in all formats. His vice-captain in Tests will be Mohammad Rizwan in the tour which will be staged in a bio-secure environment in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PCB said both 38-year-old Malik and 28-year-old Amir were left out as the “selectors prefer youth” over them.

The dropping of former captain Malik, who now plays only T20 cricket, could mean that the selectors don’t have him in mind for next year’s T20 World Cup in India.

Left-arm pacer Amir was also not considered for the recent home white ball series against Zimbabwe. He played in the T20 International series against England in August-September this year.

The squad: Openers: Abid Ali, Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Shan Masood, Fakhar Zaman and Zeeshan Malik.

Middle-order batsmen: Babar Azam (Capt), Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Hussain Talat, Haider Ali, Imran Butt, Haris Sohail, Ifthikar Ahmed, Muhammad Hafeez, Khushdil Shah and Danish Aziz.

Wicketkeepers: Muhammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Rohail Nazir.

Spinners: Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar.

Fast bowlers: Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Muhammad Musa, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz.

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