Pakistan announces squad for first T20I, Shadab to lead

Pak vs NZ: Pakistan announces squad for first T20I, Shadab to lead

December 17, 2020
Pakistan announces squad for first T20I against NZ / Photo: PCB

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 15-member national cricket squad for the first Twenty20 International against New Zealand on Thursday.

The first match of the three-match T20 series between Pakistan and New Zealand will be played tomorrow at Eden Park, Auckland.

Shadab Khan, who seems to have recovered in time, has been confirmed as the captain of the side. He will lead the team in Babar Azam’s absence.

“It is an honour for me to lead Pakistan for the first time, “Shadab said while announcing the team. “Babar Azam will be missed but his absence is the best opportunity for new players to show their abilities.”

Read: Babar Azam ruled out from NZ T20I series

Shadab added that like Babar, his captaincy, is also aggressive. He said he has experience of playing at Eden Park before and is looking forward to perform in the presence of spectators again.

The all-rounder was named captain after Babar was ruled out of the T20I series due to injury. However, Shadab too had developed a groin niggle, putting his selection into pending.

He took part in the training session with the team on Wednesday and team management was satisfied with his fitness.

Pakistan’s T20 squad reached Auckland yesterday and conducted a full three-hour training session. Bowlers and batsmen practiced hard at the nets. They also took part in fielding drills after physical training.

Injured players, Babar and Imam-ul-Haq, were engaged in separate training under the supervision of Dr. Sohail Saleem and team’s physiotherapist.

The two teams will play three T20Is on December 18, 20 and 22 in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier, respectively.

Squad: Shadab Khan (C), Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hussain Talat, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Rizwan.

Read: Pak vs NZ: Match timing and schedule for 1st, 2nd, 3rd T20I

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.