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Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed left out of Zimbabwe series

Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed have not been picked for the upcoming Zimbabwe series, said head coach and chief selector Misbahul Haq on Monday while announcing the names of 22 probables for the ODI and T20I series.

“I want to categorically state that their careers are not over by any means as performance remains the only criterion for selection. These are strategic decisions as Shoaib’s absence will provide players like Abdullah Shafiq, Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah better chances of featuring in the upcoming matches,” Haq said, according to a press release by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“We have followed the same philosophy while leaving out Mohammad Amir and Usman Shinwari so that bowlers like Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan and Haris Rauf can get an extended run. Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz provide us that useful experience in the batting and bowling, respectively, that will benefit the youngsters,” he added.

A busy home season is lined up that will see Pakistan host Zimbabwe for an ODI and T20 series beginning Oct 30.

  • Oct 20 – Zimbabwe arrival in Islamabad
  • Oct 30 – 1st ODI, Multan
  • Nov 1– 2nd ODI, Multan
  • Nov 3 – 3rd ODI, Multan
  • Nov 7 – 1st T20I, Rawalpindi
  • Nov 8 – 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi
  • Nov 10 – 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi

Pakistan have not played ODIs since the home series against Sri Lanka 12 months ago and the Rawalpindi matches will be part of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League from which the seven top-ranked sides, apart from hosts India, will qualify directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, according to the press release.

For the Lahore T20Is, the selectors have preferred continuity and consistency, while acknowledging the just concluded National T20 Cup had provided some exciting talent, which will be considered for the Pakistan and Shaheens’ next month tour to New Zealand and early next year’s home T20Is.

Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Naseem Shah were not considered for selection as they are recovering from injuries, “but have been advised to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy to prove their fitness before they are considered for selection”.

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