Pakistan Announces Squad for Asia Cup

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced squads for the ACC Men’s Asia Cup and the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Afghanistan.

The 18-player squad for the Afghanistan series will be trimmed to 17 players for the Asia Cup, set to commence on August 30 at the Multan Cricket Stadium, where Pakistan will face Nepal.

The squad includes:

Openers: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, and Imam-ul-Haq
Middle order: Babar Azam (captain), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, and Saud Shakeel (only for Afghanistan series)
Wicketkeepers: Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Haris
spinners: Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Nawaz, and Usama Mir
Pace all-rounder: Faheem Ashraf
Pacers: Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Afridi

Tayyab Tahir, Faheem Ashraf, and Saud Shakeel have been included in the squad

Tayyab Tahir, Faheem Ashraf, and Saud Shakeel have earned their spots in the squad specifically for the Afghanistan series. Notably, Shan Masood and Ihsanullah, both part of the squad for the New Zealand ODIs in April and May, have not made the cut this time. Faheem Ashraf is making a return after a two-year absence, adding valuable depth to the team as a fast bowling all-rounder. His previous ODI appearance was during Pakistan’s series against England in July 2021.

This marks Tayyab’s second inclusion in the ODI team. He was initially called up before the three ODIs against New Zealand in January, following an impressive performance in the Pakistan Cup 2022-23, where he emerged as the leading run-scorer. The right-handed middle-order batsman recently showcased his prowess with a remarkable century, leading Pakistan Shaheens to a dominant 128-run victory over India A in the ACC Men’s Emerging Cup final.

Saud Shakeel, although not part of the Asia Cup squad, boasts experience from five ODIs, with his latest appearance dating back to March 2022, when Pakistan successfully chased down 348 against Australia in Lahore.

Shan Masood and Ihsanullah have been dropped from the squad

Shan Masood’s exclusion is due to a series of low scores, while Ihsanullah is presently undergoing a rehabilitation program overseen by the PCB’s medical panel due to an injury in his bowling elbow.

The team is scheduled to gather in Hambantota on August 18, with players departing from Pakistan on August 17. A three-day training camp is planned at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore, on August 14, 15, and 16 for the players based in Pakistan.

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