Pakistan Announces 17-Member Squad for T20 Series Against New Zealand

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled the 17-member squad for the upcoming T20 series against New Zealand, scheduled to be held from April 18 to 27 in Rawalpindi and Lahore. Led by Babar Azam, the team includes two new faces, Usman Khan and Irfan Khan Niazi, along with the return of seasoned players Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir to international cricket. Additionally, five reserve players have been included in the squad.

The inclusion of Usman Khan and Irfan Khan Niazi signifies the selectors’ intention to infuse fresh talent into the squad, while the return of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir adds experience and depth to the team. Imad Wasim, who last represented Pakistan in a T20 international against New Zealand in Rawalpindi last year, brings a wealth of experience, having scored 486 runs and taken 65 wickets in 66 T20 internationals. Mohammad Amir, on the other hand, last played a T20 international for Pakistan against England in 2020, boasting 59 wickets in 50 T20 internationals.

The Pakistan cricket team for the series against New Zealand comprises Babar Azam (Captain), Saeem Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Irfan Khan Niazi, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Zaman Khan, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Osama Mir, Fakhr Zaman, and Abrar Ahmed. Additionally, the reserve players include Haseebullah, Muhammad Ali, Sahibzada Farhan, Agha Salman, and Wasim Junior.

The selection committee has announced its intention to implement a rotation policy during the series, providing opportunities to as many players as possible to assess different combinations and strengthen the team ahead of the T20 World Cup. This series serves as a crucial part of the team’s preparation for the global tournament.

Expressing their gratitude and determination, newcomers Irfan Niazi and Usman Khan have vowed to make the most of their opportunity and deliver stellar performances for the national team. Both players expressed their pride in representing Pakistan and their commitment to showcasing their talents on the international stage.

Batting coach Muhammad Yusuf expressed confidence in the abilities of Usman and Irfan, asserting that their selection was based on merit and promising performances. He emphasized the importance of trust between the captain, selectors, and players, expressing optimism about the duo’s contributions to the team’s success.

Moreover, the appointment of former Test cricketer Azhar Mehmood as the head coach of the Pakistan team adds another layer of experience and expertise to the coaching staff, further enhancing the team’s prospects in the upcoming series.

With a blend of youth and experience, Pakistan aims to put up a formidable performance against New Zealand, setting the stage for an exciting and competitive T20 series. As the players gear up for the challenge, expectations are high for a thrilling display of cricketing talent and sportsmanship on the field.