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Fit-again Shadab back, Shafique and Nawaz called up for Pakistan’s ODIs against West Indies

Shadab Khan has returned to the Pakistan ODI squad and has taken back the vice-captain after recovering from injury, while there was a call-up for best hitter Abdullah Shafique and left arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz who was called up to the three-game series at home against the West Indies, to be played in June.

Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Saud Shakeel and Usman Qadir, who were all part of the 21-man roster for Pakistan’s previous clash, against Australia at home in March-April this year, have been excluded from the trimmer 16- man row.

Most of the squad and coaching staff will gather in Rawalpindi on June 1 for a training camp, with Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab, who are currently playing in England, joining them sometime in the first week of June.

The games are scheduled for Rawalpindi, but the PCB has kept Multan as a backup, as Islamabad – the country’s capital, bordering Rawalpindi – is likely to be the center for the ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political rally from 25 May. The series starts on June 8 and features three ODIs, which are part of the World Cup Super League.

“As the ODIs against the West Indies are part of the Men’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 qualifier, we have decided to give our side the best chance of accumulating maximum points and our chances of going straight for the top tournament of 50 about to increase,” Chief selector Mohammad Wasim said in a statement. “We have kept the same squad [as in the series against Australia] so that they settle further into the format. I hope this couple will continue the form they have taken from the Australian series.” Pakistan won that three-ODI series 2-1 before losing the one-off T20I.

“Usman will stay with Asif Ali and Haider Ali in our shortest format plans as we have a series of T20Is planned this year, including the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022”

Main selector Mohammad Wasim

The West Indies series will be played without a biosafe bubble, so the PCB has abolished the policy of naming an expanded squad. While there was also no bubble for the Australia series, several injury issues in the squad had forced Pakistan to transfer 21 players.

“Considering that there will be no Managed Event Environment and the players can be called up at short notice, we have reduced the squad size to 16 players,” said Wasim. “For the Australian ODIs, we had also announced reserve players to cover players with injuries.

“Players like Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan are now fully fit, leaving us with Asif Afridi and Usman Qadir out of consideration. However, Usman will remain along with Asif Ali and Haider Ali in our shortest format plans as we have a run of the T20Is that line up this year, including the Men’s ICC T20 World Cup 2022.”

The top order revolves around Fakhar, Imam and Babar, while the bowling is led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Rauf and Hasan, with Wasim Jr and Dahani around them. They are joined by Shadab and Nawaz, who was originally on the squad for the Australia series but had to miss due to injury.

plow: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan (vice capt), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mahmood.

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