Pakistan Announces T20I Squad for New Zealand Tour 2024

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The excitement is building as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) unveils the T20I squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand. Led by the dynamic Shaheen Shah Afridi, the 17-member squad boasts a mix of seasoned performers and promising newcomers, signaling Pakistan’s commitment to nurturing talent and building depth in the squad.

New Faces Shine Bright

Three fresh faces have earned their maiden call-ups to the T20I squad based on their stellar performances during the domestic season. Right-arm pacer Mohammad Abbas Afridi, wicketkeeper-batter Haseebullah, and leg-spinner Usama Mir have caught the selectors’ eyes with their impressive contributions in domestic cricket, earning them a coveted spot in the national team.

Return of Sahibzada Farhan and Others

Sahibzada Farhan, who made his T20I debut in 2018, makes a return to the squad after showcasing his batting prowess in the National T20 Cup 2023-24. His ability to anchor the innings and score boundaries makes him a valuable addition to the team. Additionally, uncapped player Abrar Ahmed is back in the mix, bringing his skills to the squad.

Shaheen Shah Afridi Takes the Helm

In a historic move, Shaheen Shah Afridi will lead the Pakistan squad for the first time. This leadership role marks a significant milestone for the talented left-arm pacer, indicating the team’s confidence in his abilities on and off the field. The series against New Zealand is not only a test of leadership for Afridi but also the beginning of Pakistan’s preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

Injury Absences and Resting Key Players

While the squad celebrates the inclusion of new faces, injuries have ruled out key players like Naseem Shah, Ihsanullah, and Shadab Khan. Additionally, Mohammad Haris, a consistent performer, has been rested for this series, allowing him a break while remaining a crucial part of Pakistan’s future plans.

Balanced Bowling Options for New Zealand Conditions

Considering the conditions in New Zealand, the squad features a pace-heavy lineup with six pace bowlers – Aamir Jamal, Zaman Khan, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Abbas Afridi, and captain Shaheen Shah Afridi. This strategic selection aims to adapt to the challenging New Zealand conditions.

Pre-Tour Training Camp

The selected players will assemble for a training camp from 28 December 2023 to 3 January 2024 in Lahore, gearing up for the tour. In preparation, nine additional players have been called up to the camp, providing additional depth and cover for any contingencies.

Chief Selector’s Perspective

Wahab Riaz, the chief selector of the men’s cricket team, emphasized the importance of nurturing young talent and building backup options for the squad. He expressed confidence in the selected players and emphasized the need to explore new talent, promoting domestic performers.

Full Squad

  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (captain)
  • Aamir Jamal
  • Abbas Afridi
  • Azam Khan (wicket-keeper)
  • Abrar Ahmed
  • Babar Azam
  • Fakhar Zaman
  • Haris Rauf
  • Haseebullah (wicket-keeper)
  • Iftikhar Ahmed
  • Mohammad Nawaz
  • Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper)
  • Mohammad Wasim Jnr
  • Sahibzada Farhan
  • Saim Ayub
  • Usama Mir
  • Zaman Khan

Exciting Series Ahead

The T20I series against New Zealand is scheduled to take place from 12 January to 21 January 2024, featuring five matches across four venues – Auckland, Hamilton, Dunedin, and Christchurch. As the squad gears up for the challenge, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the thrilling encounters that lie ahead, setting the stage for a riveting start to the cricketing calendar in 2024.

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