Lahore 9 August 2023: Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief of the national men’s selection committee, disclosed the rosters for the ACC Men’s Asia Cup and the three-game One-Day International series against Afghanistan today. The line-up, consisting of 18 players, is scheduled to face Afghanistan in Sri Lanka from the 22nd to the 26th of August. Subsequently, the squad will be trimmed down to 17 players for the Asia Cup. The grand event is set to kick off at the Multan Cricket Stadium on August 30th, marked by a match between Pakistan and Nepal.
The opening slots will be occupied by Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, and Imam-ul-Haq.
The middle-order section will feature Babar Azam in his capacity as captain, along with Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, and Saud Shakeel (reserved exclusively for the Afghanistan series).
The wicketkeeping duties will be entrusted to Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Haris.
For spin bowling, the team will rely on Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Nawaz, and Usama Mir.
The pace all-rounder position will be manned by Faheem Ashraf.
The fast-bowling responsibilities will be shared among Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Afridi.
Notably, Tayyab Tahir, Faheem Ashraf, and Saud Shakeel have secured their spots in the squad for the Afghanistan series. On the other hand, Shan Masood and Ihsanullah, both members of the lineup that confronted New Zealand in the five ODIs held in April and May, have been omitted from the selection.
Faheem Ashraf makes a triumphant return to the team after a two-year absence, bolstering the squad as a dynamic fast-bowling all-rounder. His most recent appearance in the format dates back to Pakistan’s away series against England in July 2021.
Tayyab Tahir earns his second call-up to the ODI side, with his initial inclusion occurring prior to the three ODIs against New Zealand in January. His remarkable performance in the Pakistan Cup 2022-23 positioned him as the leading run-scorer in the tournament. The skilled right-handed middle-order batter recently showcased his prowess with a sensational century, orchestrating Pakistan Shaheens’ commanding 128-run victory over India A in the ACC Men’s Emerging Cup final.
Saud Shakeel, who won’t participate in the Asia Cup squad, boasts experience from five ODIs. His most recent appearance was in March 2022, when Pakistan successfully chased down 348 against Australia with six wickets in hand in Lahore.
|Openers||Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq|
|Middle Order||Babar Azam (captain), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, Saud Shakeel (for Afghanistan series)|
|Wicketkeepers||Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris|
|Spinners||Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir|
|Pace All-rounder||Faheem Ashraf|
|Pacers||Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi|
|Additional Players||Tayyab Tahir, Faheem Ashraf, Saud Shakeel|
|Excluded Players||Shan Masood, Ihsanullah|
Shan Masood’s exclusion from the selection follows a series of underwhelming performances, while Ihsanullah is presently engaged in a rehabilitation program monitored by the PCB’s medical panel, recovering from a bowling elbow injury.
The squad will convene in Hambantota on August 18th, with the Pakistan-based players departing on August 17th. Those engaged in the Lankan Premier League and The Hundred will directly join the squad in Sri Lanka on August 18th.