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PCB announces squad for ACC Men's Asia Cup; Shan Masood misses out

2023 Aug 09, 19:01, Lahore [Pakistan]
Team Pakistan (Photo: ICC)

 The Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) newly selected Chief Selector Inzamam Ul Haq on Wednesday announced squads for the upcoming ACC Men's Asia Cup and the three-match One-Day International series against Afghanistan.

An 18-player squad will take on Afghanistan in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26 and it will be trimmed to 17-strong for the Asia Cup, which begins from the Multan Cricket Stadium on August 30. The three-match series against Afghanistan will be played between August 22 to 26 before Pakistan begin their Asia Cup campaign against Nepal on August 30 in Multan.

The Asia Cup will kick off on August 30, with arch-rivals India and Pakistan set to lock horns in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on September 2. The tournament will follow a hybrid model, with four matches to be hosted by Pakistan and all of India's matches and a total of nine fixtures taking place in the Emerald Isle.

India is in Group A, which also have Pakistan and Nepal, while Group B comprises Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.

Tayyab Tahir, Faheem Ashraf and Saud Shakeel have been included in the squad for the Afghanistan series. Shan Masood, who was selected as ODI vice-captain in January 2023, has been left out of the Pakistan squads.

Faheem returns to the side after two years and further adds to the balance of the side as a fast-bowling all-rounder. His last outing in the format was during Pakistan’s three-match away series against England in July 2021.

This is Tayyab’s second call-up in the ODI side. His maiden call-up came ahead of the three ODIs against New Zealand in January following a stellar show in the Pakistan Cup 2022-23 that saw him finish as the leading run-getter in the event.

Saud, who does not feature in the Asia Cup squad, has played five ODIs and his last was in March 2022 when Pakistan chased down 348 against Australia with six wickets in hand in Lahore.

Shan has missed out on selection following a string of low scores, while Ihsanullah is undergoing a rehabilitation programme under the observation of the PCB’s medical panel following an injury in his bowling elbow.

The team will assemble in Hambantota on August 18 with the players in Pakistan departing on August 17. The players in Pakistan will hold a three-day camp on August 14, 15 and 16 at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore.

The Asia Cup, which begins on August 30, is eventually being played in Pakistan and Sri Lanka with India playing their fixture matches in the Island nation. Saud Shakeel will be left behind after the Afghanistan series as Pakistan will move forward for the Asia Cup action.

"Preference has been given to Faheem Ashraf, since the squad doesn't have another allrounder. If you look at PSL and other tournaments, we need an allrounder, he is a fast-bowling allrounder, which we need at the World Cup," Inzamam said at a press conference after announcing the squad.

"Shan has performed very well. Unfortunately, his performances have gone down. We have a list of 20-21 players, and Shan is part of that. But Saud Shakeel and a couple of other players were impressive recently, so we have to leave out Shan. But he is a part of our plans," cwhile speaking on Masood.

Pakistan's squad for Asia Cup: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Nawaz and Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi. (ANI)


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