LAHORE: Veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik, fast bowler Hasan Ali, all-rounder Imad Wasim and wicket-keeper Sarfaraz Ahmad were left out as the national selectors named on Thursday Pakistan’s ODI and Twenty20 squads for the home series against West Indies starting later this month.
The series comprises three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals all of which will be staged at the National Stadium, Karachi from Dec 13 to 22.
Four changes were made in the 18-member team, which played the T20 series in Bangladesh last month. Only pace bowler Mohammad Hasnain has been added to the 15-man T20 squad.
From the 17 players who were available for selection for the England ODIs in July, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Wasim Junior have replaced Faheem Ashraf, Hasan, Salman Ali Agha and Sarfaraz in the 17-member side, while Abdullah Shafique has been named as a travelling reserve.
Meanwhile commenting on the squads, chief selector Mohammad Wasim said: “As we have been playing T20Is since October and now have a pretty settled and balanced side, we have decided to reduce the number of players to 15. As such, we have not included Imad Wasim, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik.
“For the ODIs, which we last played in July, we have accepted the team management’s request and provided them two additional resources,” Wasim added.
“In consultation with [pace bowler] Hasan Ali and taking into consideration that he has been playing non-stop cricket since returning from a back injury, we have decided to give him time off from this series,” the chief selector concluded.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided not to add any batting or bowling coach to the interim coaching set-up of the national team for the white-ball home series against the West Indies, it is learnt.
When contacted by Dawn, a PCB official said that after evaluating the situation in detail, the PCB has decided not to appoint any batting or bowling coach in place of Matthew Hayden (batting consultant) and Vernon Philander (bowling consultant), who have left the Pakistan squad one after another following their short assignments. Former Australian opener Hayden and ex-South African pacer Philander had been hired ahead of the T20 World Cup staged in the UAE during October-November. While Hayden had left the Babar Azam-led team after the World Cup, Philander left Bangladesh for South Africa after Pakistan’s first Test in Chittagong Test that ended early this week.
Considering the home series against the West Indies would be just a nine-day affair, adding any coach for such a short period may not suit the winning combination of the Pakistan squad and furthermore no one could serve the purpose in such a short time period, the PCB official said.
However, he added, after the end of the West Indies series, the PCB would review the situation before deciding to appoint new coaches keeping in view the needs of the team.
Meanwhile, responding to a question about non-payment to the contractual players of domestic cricket for the last three months, the official said all the payments would be made in the beginning of next week.
“It may not be necessary to appoint separate coaches for every department,” he said. “There is a possibility that the PCB will focus more on the junior teams by providing them with more coaches.”
Responding to a question regarding selecting only one wicket-keeper for the West Indies series, the official underlined as all the matches would be played in Karachi where Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches are also going on, so in case of an urgent requirement of the national team either Sarfaraz Ahmad or Azam Khan would be easily available.
“The delay [in making payments] occurred due to some administrative and clerical mistakes which should not come to pass,” the PCB official stated.
ODI: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Hasnain, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir
Player support personnel: Mansoor Rana (manager), Saqlain Mushtaq (interim head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Cliffe Deacon (physio), Drikus Saaiman (strength and conditioning coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Ejaz (team analyst), Col Mohammad Imran (security manager), Ahsan Iftikhar Nagi (media and digital manager), Dr Najeeb Soomro (team doctor) and Malang Ali (masseur)
DUBAI: Pakistan cricketers Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali and Abid Ali achieved career-high rankings after their stellar performances in the first Test against Bangladesh.
According to the latest ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings, fast bowler Shaheen Afridi has made it to the top five of the Test rankings for the first time in his career.
The 21-year-old left-armer, who grabbed seven wickets including a haul of five for 32 in the second innings of the Chittagong Test, has moved up three places to fifth position after overtaking James Anderson, Kagiso Rabada and Neil Wagner.
Shaheen’s new-ball partner Hasan Ali, too, is at a career-best position after finishing with a similar seven-wicket match haul that included a five-for in the first innings. Hasan has advanced five places to 11th place. His previous best in Tests was 14th, reached in May this year.
Pakistan’s opening batters were not the ones to be left behind. Abid Ali may have missed out on a century in each innings but his scores of 133 and 91 helped him shoot up 27 slots to a career-best 20th position while Abdullah Shafique enters the rankings at 83rd with scores of 52 and 73.
For Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim is up four places to 19th with scores of 91 and 16 while Liton Das has moved up 26 places to a career-best 31st position after accruing 114 and 59.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam has progressed two places to 23rd after an eight-wicket match haul that included seven scalps in the first innings.
The thrilling draw in Kanpur between India and New Zealand had quite a few performances from either side that reflect in the latest weekly update that also includes the first Test between Sri Lanka and the West Indies at Galle, which the host side won by 187 runs.
Debutant Shreyas Iyer’s Player of the Match effort of 105 and 65 helped him enter the rankings in 74th position while opener Shubman Gill (up six places to 66th) and Wriddhiman Saha (up nine places to 99th) also made notable progress after notching half-centuries.
Ravindra Jadeja is up two places to 19th among bowlers with five wickets in the match and is also up one place to second among all-rounders. Ravichandran Ashwin is the third-ranked all-rounder and 79th among batters.
For New Zealand, Tom Latham’s knocks of 95 and 52 place him back in the top 10 as he goes up from 14th to ninth. Fast bowler Kyle Jamieson is ninth among bowlers, his three wickets in each innings resulting in a gain of six places. Tim Southee has gained 15 rating points to reach within one point of second-placed Ashwin (840) after his eight-wicket match haul.
Sri Lanka, whose win in their first match of the ICC Men’s Test Championship put them on top of the table (on percentage points), also had some improvements after the Galle Test.
Captain Dimuth Karunaratne’s Player of the Match effort of 147 and 83 has lifted him four places to seventh, just one below his career-best sixth position attained in August 2019. Former captains Angelo Mathews (up two places to 23rd) and Dinesh Chandimal (up four places to 46th) have also advanced.
Left-arm spinners Lasith Embuldeniya (up four places to 37th) and Praveen Jayawickrama (up six places to 44th) and off-spinner Ramesh Mendis (up 28 places to 57th) have improved in the rankings for bowlers.