Shaheen Shah Afridi
is set to return to international cricket after four months, having been named in Pakistan’s T20I and ODI squads for the home series against New Zealand. Captain Babar Azam
and Mohammad Rizwan
, who were rested for the T20Is against Afghanistan, are also back in the side for the series which will be played in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi from April 14 to May 7.
Shaheen had sustained a knee injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in July last year and subsequently missed five Tests and three ODIs against England and New Zealand to complete his rehab after the men’s T20 World Cup. He last played for Pakistan in the final of the T20 World Cup
, bowling just 2.1 overs and taking a wicket before he left the field in the 16th over having hurt his knee. He returned to competitive cricket in February, taking part in the PSL where he captained Lahore Qalandars to the title
Azam Khan, Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Wasim Junior have been dropped from the T20I squad, while Ihsanullah
has been rewarded with a maiden ODI call. Haris Sohail
, who earned a surprise recall to the national side during the ODI series against New Zealand earlier this year in Karachi, has been retained for the upcoming series. Abdullah Shafique
has also been named in the ODI squad, while Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain and Shahnawaz Dahani have been dropped.
The tour includes games tacked on to compensate for New Zealand pulling out of their 2021 tour of Pakistan. New Zealand had aborted the tour minutes before the start of the first ODI of the tour, citing a “specific and credible” security threat.
The Pakistan squad will assemble in Lahore on April 6 for a training camp ahead of the series.
Pakistan T20I squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan
Pakistan ODI squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Ihsanullah, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usama Mir. Reserves: Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed and Tayyab Tahir