Pakistan have announced their squad for the three-match ODI series against West Indies, which begins on June 8. The team will be led by Babar Azam.
Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Haider Ali and Usman Qadir have been dropped from the 16-member squad. The selectors have decided to reduce the number of players because the series will not be played in a Managed Event Environment. Meanwhile, Saud Shakeel was not considered as he is scheduled to undergo a surgery for sinusitis.
Shadab Khan, who missed the Australia ODIs due to an injury, has returned as vice-captain.
The PCB has also stated that the squad will assemble in Rawalpindi on June 1 for a training camp. Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan, who are currently participating in the English County Championship, will join the squad in time for the practice sessions.
Speaking about the squad selected, Pakistan Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim opened up about the reason behind sticking with the same core.
“As the ODIs against the West Indies are part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, we have decided to give best chance to our side to collect maximum points and strengthen our chances of progressing directly for the pinnacle 50-over tournament,” Wasim was quoted as saying by PCB in a press release.
“We have retained the same core of players so they further establish themselves in the format. I hope this bunch will continue the form they gained from the Australia series.”
He also shed light on players dropped from the squad.
“For the Australia ODIs, we had also announced backup players as cover to those players who were carrying injuries. Players such as Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan are now fully fit, which has allowed us to leave out Asif Afridi and Usman Qadir,” he said.
“However, Usman along with Asif Ali and Haider Ali remain in our plans for the shortest format as we have a series of T20I lined up this year, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.”
Pakistan squad for West Indies ODIs:
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper/batter), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper/batter), Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.
West Indies tour of Pakistan
June 8: 1st ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi
June 10: 2nd ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi
June 12: 3rd ODI at Pindi Stadium, Rawalpindi