Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have announced an 18-man squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand with two changes from the side that faced Zimbabwe at home last month.
Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has returned to Pakistan’s T20I squad for the three matches to be played on 18, 20 and December 22.
Sarfaraz reclaimed his spot from Rohail Nazir, who will captain Pakistan Shaheens against New Zealand A to prepare for the two-match Test series, which commences at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on December 26.
“Top professional athletes require a certain environment to prepare so that they can perform at the minimum expected levels every time they represent their countries,” said Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq in an official statement.
On Friday, the New Zealand Health Ministry had refused to permit Babar Azam and Co. to leave their hotel in Christchurch to train in groups.
“While we completely respect and understand the New Zealand Government Laws, which have been put in place for the health and safety of their public, there is no denying the fact that the implementation of certain regulations has affected our athletes, both mentally and physically prior to an international series,” added Misbah.
The three-match T20I series will begin from December 18 with the first game at Eden Park, Auckland. The other two matches will be played in Hamilton and Napier.
Pakistan T20I squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz.
Pakistan Shaheens squad: Rohail Nazir (capt), Abid Ali, Amad Butt, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar and Zeeshan Malik.