Lahore, April 4, 2023.
Shaheen Shah Afridi is all set to return to international cricket four months after he was included in Pakistan’s T20I and ODI squads for the series against New Zealand to be played in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi from April 14 to May 7.
Shaheen had missed five Tests and three ODIs against England and New Zealand after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 as he completes his rehabilitation from a knee injury he sustained during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle in July. He then missed the second Test against Sri Lanka, the ODI series against the Netherlands, the ACC Asia Cup in the UAE and the seven-match T20I series in Pakistan.
The 22-year-old, who has 99 Test, 62 ODI and 58 T20I wickets, made a remarkable comeback in the HBL Pakistan Super League 8 as he inspired Lahore Qalandars to become the first team to successfully defend the title. Not only that, Shaheen’s own performance was superb with both bat and ball; he scored 133 runs at a strike rate of 168.35 and took 19 wickets at an economy rate of 9.13. He has rightfully been named the captain of the HBL PSL 8 team.
Apart from Shaheen, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Rizwan have also returned to two teams. All these players were rested for the three-T20I series against Afghanistan in Sharjah last month.
This means Babar Azam will resume his usual duty as captain for the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand, while Shadab will return to his original position as vice-captain.
Three young guns Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub and Zaman Khan have been retained in the T20I squad after stellar performances in Sharjah, while Ihsanullah has also been added to the ODI squad for the first time in his career.
The team will assemble in Lahore on April 6, with the training camp set to begin on April 7.
T20I: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Fahim Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saeem Ayub, Shaheen Shah. Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan
ODI: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafiq, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Ihsanullah, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman . Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usama Mir. Subs: Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed and Tayyab Tahir
Series Timing (T20 will start at 9:00 PM, ODIs will start at 3:30 PM).
April 14 – 1st T20I, Lahore
April 15 – 2nd T20I, Lahore
April 17 – 3rd T20I, Lahore
April 20 – 4th T20I, Rawalpindi
April 24 – 5 T20I, Rawalpindi
April 27 – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
April 29 – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi
May 3 – 3rd ODI, Karachi
May 5 – 4 ODI, Karachi
May 7 – 5 ODI, Karachi