Former Pakistan Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed Recalled To T20I Squad For New Zealand Series | Cricket News
Former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed has returned to Pakistan’s T20I squad for the three T20Is against New Zealand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Sunday. PCB has named an 18-player men’s national squad for the T20I series against New Zealand to be played on 18, 20, and December 22. Pakistan cricket team are scheduled to depart for Queenstown on Tuesday after completing their 14-day isolation period in Christchurch. Both Pakistan and Pakistan Shaheens squads are scheduled to depart for Queenstown on Tuesday, 8 December, after completing their 14-day isolation period in Christchurch. In Queenstown, both sides will stay in different hotels and train at different times and according to their match requirements.
On 14 December, Shaheens will travel to Whangarei, while Pakistan will head to Auckland on 15 December for the opening match of the three-match series.
For the New Zealand T20Is, Pakistan have recalled Hussain Talat and Sarfaraz Ahmed in the only changes from the side that defeated Zimbabwe 3-0 in November.
Sarfaraz has reclaimed his spot from Rohail Nazir, who will captain Pakistan Shaheens against New Zealand ”A”.
“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 give permission to the touring team to leave their hotel to train in groups, while completing their time in managed isolation in Christchurch after the eighth member of the Pakistan squad was tested positive for coronavirus.
“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,” Misbah said.
Fakhar Zaman had played in all the three T20Is against Zimbabwe, but missed the New Zealand tour after failing to recover in time due to high fever.
Pakistan are slated to play three T20Is on December 18, 20, and 22, and the ICC World Test Championship fixtures will be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch on December 26-30 and January 3-7, respectively.
Following the conclusion of the T20I series, Imad Wasim will depart for Australia on 23 December to play in Australia’s Big Bash League, while Mohammad Hafeez will leave for Pakistan on 24 December.
Pakistan squad for T20Is: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Musa Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, and Wahab Riaz.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Test side players who will not be involved in the T20Is will remain with Pakistan Shaheens to prepare for the two-Test series, which commences at the Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, on 26 December.
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