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Pakistan recall Shehzad, Akmal for Sri Lanka T20Is

Umar Akmal’s last T20I for Pakistan dated back in November 2016 against the West Indies.

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Pakistan recall Shehzad, Akmal for Sri Lanka T20Is
Ahmed Shehzad returned after serving doping ban. Photo: Sky Sports

Bringing back Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal, Pakistan have announced their squad for its three-match Twenty20I series against Sri Lanka, starting Saturday in Lahore.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced the 16-member squad ahead of the series in the island nation.

Besides Shehzad and Akmal, Faheem Ashraf has regained his position. The trio, therefore, replaced Abid Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Imam-ul-Haq from the ODI squad.

29-year old Akmal’s last T20I for Pakistan dated back in November 2016 against the West Indies. He then appeared in the ODI series against Australia in March this year.

Pakistan’s newly appointed head coach cum selector Misbah-ul-Haq said while talking about the selection criteria for the latest amendments in the team,

“Both Shehzad and Umar are experienced players and have performed and left an impact in the T20 format. They trained hard in the recent conditioning camp and have done well in domestic cricket so we are giving them a chance.

“We are checking players for vacant spots in the team ahead of the World Cup which is important for us,” Misbah said.

Shehzad, 27, who served a four-month doping ban in October, 2018 has just made his way through international cricket once again. He last played for Pakistan in a two-match T20I series against Scotland in 2018.

Meanwhile, 25-year old Faheem Ashraf has gained a spot in the team after finishing as the second highest wicket-taker in this season with 21 claims.

All three T20Is are scheduled to be held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

Pakistan T20I squad for Sri Lanka series: 

Sarfaraz Ahmed (Capt), Babar Azam, Ahmed Shehzad, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Ifthikar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Aamir, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.

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