Pakistan left out Mohammad Hafeez, their experienced allrounder, and Kamran Akmal, the out-of-form wicketkeeper-batsman, from the 16-man squad that will play a three-match Twenty20 series against a World XI next month.
The games, which will be played in Lahore, have been given international status by the International Cricket Council in an attempt to revive cricket in Pakistan. Pakistan has not hosted international cricket – except a short limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in 2015 – since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
The World XI, which will be led by Faf du Plessis, South Africa’s Test and T20I skipper, have 13 other players from seven Test-playing countries.
Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the Pakistan side, which also sees the recall of Sohail Khan, the pacer, Aamer Yamin, the allrounder, and Umar Amin, the middle-order batsman.
Hafeez and Kamran were part of Pakistan’s squad for the tour of the Caribbean in March this year but were unable to keep their spots after a sequence of poor performances. Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz were the other omissions from that squad.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmad (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Ruman Raees, Usman Shinwari, Sohail Khan.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the chief selector, felt that the series will give youngsters a chance to mature. “The squad is a combination of the fine blend of youth and senior players. It would be good for the young players to get a chance to play on the home ground and perform in front of the local public,” said Inzamam.
The three-match series will start on September 12 with the remaining two matches scheduled to take place on September 13 and September 15.