The right-handed batsman Abid Ali and all-rounder Iftikhar Ahmed have returned in the national team as the chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq, on Saturday, announced 16-member Pakistan’s ODI squad for the home series against Sri Lanka.
Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari, wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan and bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz have also made a comeback for a three-match ODI series scheduled from September 27 to October 2 at Karachi’s National Stadium.
Hasan Ali has been ruled out from the squad following a back injury and will start a rehabilitation program at National Cricket Academy (NCA).
Misbah, on his first assignment, is satisfied with the announced full-fledged squad and thinks that a winning start to the new season will have positive results ahead.
“I have consulted with the selection committee’s members before announcing the squad. We had a deep conversation over each and every player individually and I hope this squad will work for Pakistan,” he said while talking to the media in Lahore after announcing the team.
To a query about retaining a full-strength squad against a low-profile Sri Lankan team, Misbah said that they can’t take anyone lightly. “It is not about a weak or a strong opponent. If you take anyone lightly, the things might slip from your hands. We are focusing on a strong start to the new season,” he maintained.
Talking about the arrival of Nawaz, Abid, Shinwari, Iftikhar, and Rizwan, the 44-years-old, who is also the team’s head coach, said that players who will perform will definitely get a chance.
“See, our aim is to provide immense opportunities to the players who perform. We have seen some strong performances of these three players in recent past that’s why we considered them for this assignment,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the T20I team against Sri Lanka will be announced during the ODI series in Karachi and the players who are under consideration for the shorter format will continue training at NCA.
Sarfraz Ahmed (C), Babar Azam (VC), Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Imam ul Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Husnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Usman Shinwari, and Wahab Riaz