Faheem Ashraf returns for the Asia Cup, Afghanistan series as Shan Masood, Ihsanullah dropped

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Pakistans all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. — PCB
Pakistan’s all-rounder Faheem Ashraf. — PCB

LAHORE: All rounder Faheem Ashraf has returned to the Pakistan squad for the Asia Cup and Afghanistan series while Shan Masood and Ihsanullah have been dropped.

The squad for the series and the Asia Cup was announced by head of the national men’s selection committee Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has returned to the post.

For the three-match One-Day International series against Afghanistan an 18-man squad has been announced while in the Asia Cup only 17 players will be part of the squad.

Saud Shakeel who has been included in the Afghanistan series will miss out the Asia Cup.

Pakistan will play the Afghanistan series in Sri Lanka from August 22 till 26 and will return home for the Asia Cup, which begins from the Multan Cricket Stadium on August 30 when Pakistan play Nepal.

Faheem, who will be making a comeback, returns to the side after two years and the selection expects his inclusion will add “balance of the side as a fast bowling all-rounder”. He last played for Pakistan the three-match away series against England in July 2021.

Meanwhile, Tayyab Tahir has received his second call-up in the ODI side. He his first call came ahead of the three ODIs against New Zealand in January after a stellar season in the Pakistan Cup 2022-23.

Saud, who does not feature in the Asia Cup squad, has played five ODIs and his last was in March 2022 when Pakistan chased down 348 against Australia with six wickets in hand in Lahore.

The PCB said that Shan been dropped due to his low-scores, while Ihsanullah has been dropped as he is undergoing a rehabilitation programme following an injury in his bowling elbow.

The board said that the squad will assemble in Hambantota, Sri Lanka on August 18 with the players in Pakistan departing on August 17. The players in Pakistan will hold a three-day camp on August 14, 15 and 16 at the National Cricket Academy, Lahore.

The players who are playing in the Lankan Premier League and The Hundred will join the squad directly in Sri Lanka on August 18.

The board said that squad was finalised following consultations between the national men’s selection committee – which includes Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn and Hassan Cheema (secretary) – and Pakistan captain Babar Azam.

Squad

Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, 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 Shah Afridi

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