In a significant move, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled the 18-player squad that will represent the country in the highly anticipated Asia Cup 2023 as well as the upcoming 3-match ODI series against Afghanistan. The announcement was made by PCB officials, with Babar Azam leading the contingent for both crucial campaigns.
The squad includes a mix of seasoned players and emerging talents, reflecting the country’s commitment to fostering a winning combination. The Asia Cup is scheduled to be played in Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a hybrid model, aiming to provide cricket enthusiasts with a thrilling showcase of top-notch cricket action.
Babar Azam, known for his exceptional batting prowess, will lead the team, while the role of vice-captain will be assumed by the dynamic all-rounder Shadab Khan. The squad encompasses some key names like Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who are expected to play pivotal roles on the field.
The pace attack will be spearheaded by the formidable Shaheen Shah Afridi, who will receive ample support from speedsters like Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Wasim Jnr. The team’s preparations for the Asia Cup will also be complemented by a 3-match ODI series against Afghanistan, scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26.
Among the noteworthy omissions, Shan Masood and Ihsanullah, who were part of the Pakistan squad during the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, have been excluded from the squad. On the flip side, the talented pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf has been recalled after a hiatus of two years, adding depth to the team’s resources.
The selection process for the squads was undertaken with inputs from the men’s selection committee, comprising prominent cricketing figures like Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn, and secretary Hassan Cheema. This collective approach ensures a comprehensive evaluation of players’ form, fitness, and potential contributions to the team’s success.
To further fine-tune their preparations, the Pakistan squad will undergo a three-day training camp from August 14 to 16 at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Following this, the team will embark on their journey to Sri Lanka, where they are slated to land in Hambantota on August 18.
The commencement of the Asia Cup 2023 is set for August 30, with Pakistan’s national team locking horns with Nepal in the opening match of the tournament. This much-anticipated event promises a riveting clash of cricketing titans, showcasing the passion and talent of players from across the Asian cricketing landscape.
Pakistan’s Squad for Asia Cup 2023 and Afghanistan ODIs:
- Babar Azam (captain)
- Abdullah Shafique
- Fakhar Zaman
- Salman Ali Agha
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Tayyab Tahir and Saud Shakeel (only for Afghanistan series)
- Mohammad Rizwan
- Mohammad Haris
- Shadab Khan (vice-captain)
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Usama Mir
- Faheem Ashraf
- Haris Rauf
- Mohammad Wasim Jnr
- Naseem Shah
- Shaheen Afridi