Left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi has earned a maiden One-Day International call-up to the Pakistan squad for the 2018 Asia Cup, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Tuesday (September 4).Opener Shan Masood was also recalled for the six-team tournament while Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Shah and Imad Wasim failed to make the cut. The rest of the 16-member squad was on similar lines to the one that walloped Zimbabwe in the recent ODI series 5-0.
Afridi, 18, has taken giant strides since turning out for the Pakistan side in the Under-19 World Cup that was held in New Zealand at the start of the year. He had quite a successful stint at the Pakistan Super League playing for Lahore Qalandars and was subsequently drafted into the squad that toured Zimbabwe for the tri-nation Twenty20 International series where he picked up four wickets in two outings. With Afridi’s inclusion, Pakistan boast a strong pace lineup with the likes of Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan and Usman Shinwari already in the mix.
Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Nawaz will handle the spin duties while Faheem Ashraf with his medium pace is also a useful addition coming down the order.
Sarfraz Ahmed will once again lead the side with Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Malik, Babar Azam and Asif Ali forming the crux of the top order.
Pakistan will kickstart their campaign against the winner of the ongoing Asia Cup Qualifier on September 16 and will then face arch-rivals India on September 19. With the tournament slated to be held in the UAE, Pakistan certainly have a distinct advantage considering they play their ‘home’ games there.
Pakistan squad for Asia cup: Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Shaheen Afridi.
First Published: September 4, 2018, 5:53 PM IST