Pakistan name 18-player squad for Ireland and England & WalesBreaking

May 02, 2024

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced its 18-player squad for the upcoming T20I series against Ireland (10-14 May) and England & Wales (22-30 May). The squad will be reduced to 15 players for next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 after the first T20I at Leeds on 22 May to meet the ICC’s 24 May deadline. The men’s national selection committee has recalled fast bowler Haris Rauf, along with all-rounders Hasan Ali and Salman Ali Agha, in the 18-player squad. The two cricketers who did not make the cut from the original 17-player squad that faced New Zealand are wrist spinner Usama Mir and fast bowler Zaman Khan. Pakistan squad for Ireland and England & Wales is: Babar Azam (captain) Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan,  Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan.

Haris Rauf and wicketkeeper/batter Azam Khan were sidelined for the New Zealand T20Is due to injuries, while middle-order batter Mohammad Muhammad Irfan Khan and wicketkeeper/batter Mohammad Rizwan were rested from the two T20Is in Lahore due to niggles. The four cricketers underwent fitness assessments at the National Cricket Academy on Tuesday afternoon, showing significant improvement. This progress has provided confidence and encouragement to the PCB Medical Panel and the team management regarding their potential availability during the seven T20Is. Salman Ali Agha has established himself as a versatile cricketer, proficient in aggressive middle-order batting and off-spin bowling. His inclusion bolsters Pakistan's spin department alongside Abrar Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan. Hasan Ali's selection is attributed to his extensive experience, having featured in 50 T20Is and excelling in bilateral series and ICC Events. His impressive performance in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2024, where he claimed 14 wickets, further underlined his credentials. Currently representing Warwickshire in the English County Championship, Hasan adds depth to Pakistan’s bowling arsenal.

“Crafting this squad was a challenging task due to the outstanding talent available. After thorough deliberation and considering various cricketing aspects, we have finalised these 18 players. “The squad encompasses a robust top-order featuring Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, and Usman Khan; an effective middle-order with Azam Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Muhammad Irfan Khan; versatile all-rounders in Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan and Salman Ali Agha; a pace battery led by Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi; and the spin prowess of Abrar Ahmed. “We understand Usama and Zaman will be disappointed and they should be as they must be looking ahead to the tours of Ireland and England. They are quality cricketers and have long careers ahead of them. They need to continue to focus on their cricket so that they are available, if required.”  The team is scheduled to depart for Dublin on 7 May following a three-day training camp in Lahore from 4-6 May.

Schedule of matches:

10 May – v Ireland, 1st T20I, Dublin

12 May – v Ireland, 2nd T20, Dublin

14 May – v Ireland, 3rd T20I, Dublin

22 May – v England, 1st T20I, Leeds

25 May – v England, 2nd T20I, Birmingham

28 May – v England 3rd T20I, Cardiff

30 May – v England, 4th T20I, The Oval

Credit: Independent News Pakistan