Bangladesh will tour Pakistan to play three T20Is, one ODI, and two Tests. The T20I series will begin from January 24, and the hosts have announced the 15-member squad for the 20 over leg.
Babar Azam will continue to lead the side. Former captain Shoaib Malik and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez were recalled to the squad. However, Mohammad Amir’s exclusion is the biggest surprise. Amir recently took a six-wicket haul in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Playing for Khulna Tigers, Amir is the fourth-highest wicket-taker of the season so far. The left-arm pacer has picked 18 wickets in 12 matches with the best figures of 6/17.
Apart from Amir, players like Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Irfan, and Wahab Riaz have also been left out.
Speedster Haris Rauf, who is currently rolling the charts in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL), has received the maiden call-up to the Pakistan squad.
Rauf is currently playing for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL and has impressed many with his extreme pace. The right-arm bowler has grabbed 16 wickets in just seven matches and is also the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament so far.
The national selection committee headed by chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq replaced seven players who were part of the Pakistan squad that lost 0-2 to Australia in a T20I series held last year.
Misbah said that these changes were made to change Pakistan’s performances in the shortest format of the game.
“We have lost eight of our last nine T20Is, and as the number-one ranked side, this is unacceptable. We need to end our losing streak and get back to winning habits leading to the upcoming Asia Cup and ICC T20 World Cup. This has played a critical role in our decision-making,” Misbah said in a statement.
“The seven players who have missed out on selection are by no means out of our planning, but considering their recent form in international cricket and taking into account other strong performances in our National T20 Cup, we have decided to make these changes.”
“The Pakistan Super League 2020 is starting in four weeks, and if they can reclaim their winning form, then they will be back in contention for the upcoming assignments, including the Asia Cup and ICC T20 World Cup,” Misbah added.
Pakistan squad for Bangladesh T20Is:
Babar Azam (c), Ahsan Ali, Amad Butt, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Musa Khan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Usman Qadir.