Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board
Six members of the Pakistan T20I squad will depart later tonight for Auckland via Dubai from Lahore to feature in the five-match T20I series against New Zealand.
The five-match T20I series will be played from 12 to 21 January in Auckland, Hamilton, Dunedin and Christchurch.
The six members of the squad include Abbas Afridi, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Haseebullah Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Sahibzada Farhan. These six players, along with nine additional players – Ahmed Shehzad, Arif Yaqoob, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Imran, Omair Bin Yousaf, Sajjad Ali Jnr and Shahab Khan – took part in the series preparation camp.
These players underwent a four-day camp at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, where under High-Performance Coach and camp commandant Yasir Arafat, they featured in two match scenarios and different practice sessions to equip themselves with the modern T20 cricket skills. The six players of the 16-member squad also trained for the fifth day on Tuesday, when the camp concluded.
At the camp’s conclusion, Yasir Arafat, talking to the media, said, “We tried to engage these players in quality training with an eye on the requirements of modern-day cricket. The batting, fielding and bowling drills were arranged to emulate the attacking teams and how they dominate their oppositions.
“Players also took part in two scenario matches. We have tried to equip these players with the skills that help in high-pressure games.
“The T20 World Cup is not that far away. We will keep on exploring new options as well to solidify our bench strength. What I loved about this camp was the way PCB rewarded the domestic performers who did well in the National T20 Cup. The senior players like Fakhar Zaman and Iftikhar Ahmed mingled with the newcomers and it was a great learning experience for them.”
Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, who has been released from the Test squad, has joined fellow bowlers – Zaman Khan, Haris Rauf and Usama Mir – to train for the T20I series. All four players will depart from Australia for Auckland on 5 January, where the remaining players named in the T20 squad will join them.
Full squad: Shaheen Shah Afridi (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Azam Khan (wicket-keeper), Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah (wicket-keeper), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir and Zaman Khan
1st T20 – 12 January 2024 at Eden Park, Auckland
2nd T20 – 14 January 2024 at Seddon Park, Hamilton
3rd T20 – 17 January 2024 at University Oval, Dunedin
4th T20 – 19 January 2024 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch
5th T20 – 21 January 2024 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch