Islamabad:To be led by Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan have named a 16-man squad
for the 2018 Asia Cup set to begin in the United Arab Emirates from September 15.
The 18-year-old fast bowler Shaheen Afridi has been included in the squad while opening batsman Shan Masood has also received a call-up for the six-nation tournament. Experienced cricketersYasir Shah, Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim have been left out.
The rest of the squad remains unchanged from the last one-day international series Pakistan
featured in, a five-match face-off against Zimbabwe. Top-order batsmen Babar Azam, Haris
Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq annd Pakistan's first-ever ODI double centurion Fakhar Zaman make a
power-packed batting line-up that will also have the experience of Shoaib Malik and Ahmed,
an ICC report on Tuesday said.
Mohammad Amir will lead the fast bowling attack and will be assisted by Hasan Ali, Usman
Khan Shinwari, Junaid Khan and Afridi. Faheem Ashraf has been picked as the specialist
all-rounder and Shadab Khan is the specialist spinner.
Asif Ali, who enhanced his reputation as a middle-order batsman with knocks of 41*, 22, 37*
and 17* in the tri-nation Twenty20 International series in Zimbabwe and registered his maiden
ODI half-century thereafter has also been retained.
Masood, who has played 12 Tests but no limited-overs matches for Pakistan after having
debuted in 2013, has been rewarded for his excellent performances in List-A cricket. The
28-year-old has scored three centuries and five half-centuries in last 10 innings and is now
in line to receive his ODI cap.
Afridi, Pakistan's highest wicket-taker in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2018 in New
Zealand, was blooded into the T20I squad during the home series against the Windies and
will now potentially make his ODI debut as well.
While the the selection committee headed by the new PCB chairman Ehsan Mani has
focused on youth, two veterans in Hafeez and Shah have been omitted from the squad.
Hafeez had a disappointing tour of Zimbabwe, returning seven and zero the two T20I
innings he played while Shah failed to impress with returns of 1/10 and 0/31 from two
Pakistan begin their Asia Cup campaign with a league game against the winner of the
ongoing Asia Cup Qualifier on September 16.
Full squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Shadab
Khan, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad
Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Shaheen Afridi.(UNI)