LAHORE, Pakistan, CMC – Selectors have named three uncapped players in a 15-man squad to face West Indies in the historic three-match Twenty20 series in Karachi next month.
Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and 17-year-old Shaheen Afridi have been rewarded for their form in the recent Pakistan Super League but veteran Kamran Akmal has been ignored despite plundering 425 runs, including century and four half-centuries.
His age – he turned 36 three months ago – and his poor fielding was reported to be the reasons behind his non-selection.
Shaheen is a left-arm pacer who impressed at the recent Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand and was also outstanding in the PSL.
The 26-year-old Asif is an explosive lower order batsman while Talat, 22, is a highly regarded all-rounder.
“We have included Talat, Asif anad Shaheen in the squad primarily for their performances in the PSL,” said convenor of selectors, Inzamam-ul-Haq.
“Imad Wasim and Rumman Raees are still recovering from injuries so were not included.
“Shaheen is an exciting and amazing talent and I am sure after a few years he will be a star.”
The squad will be led by regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and includes the likes of Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam and veteran right-hander Shoaib Malik.
West Indies will become the first major cricket side to tour Pakistan since the terrorist attack on a Sri Lanka team bus in 2009 left several of the security forces dead.
Since then, Pakistan have played their home series in the United Arab Emirates.
The T20 Internationals will be played on April 1, 2 and 3.
SQUAD – Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi.