With the much-awaited Asia Cup 2023 just around the corner, fans and experts have been busy in guessing the best combinations for their favorite teams for the upcoming tournament. Adding more to the excitement of the fans, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled the official One Day International (ODI) squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has assembled a formidable squad, blending emerging talents and seasoned veterans, ensuring to present a well-balanced squad at the highest level.
Key omissions and inclusions:
Notably, the new chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq announced the 18-member squad for the Afghanistan ODIs while 17 of them will be playing in the Asia Cup 2023. The only player who isn’t a part of the Asia Cup 2023 squad is Saud Shakeel.
Shan Masood, who was named the vice-captain in January this year, has been left out of the squad. Terming his omission from Asia Cup 2023 squad as unfortunate, Inzamam said that the left-handed batter’s performance has gone down in recent times/ Inzamam said:
“Shan has performed very well. Unfortunately, his performances have gone down. We have a list of 20-21 players, and Shan is part of that. But Saud Shakeel and a couple of other players were impressive recently, so we have to leave out Shan. But he is a part of our plans,”
There’s no place for Zaman Khan as Faheem Ashraf has been preferred over him. Talking about him, Inzamam said:
“Preference has been given to Faheem Ashraf, since the squad doesn’t have another allrounder. If you look at PSL and other tournaments, we need an allrounder, he is a fast-bowling allrounder, which we need at the World Cup,”
Talking about Pakistan’s schedule, they will open their campaign in Asia Cup 2023 against Nepal on August 30 in Multan while arch-rivals India will face them on September 2 and mostly on September 10 as well in the Super Fours round.
Pakistan squad for the Asia Cup 2023 and Afghanistan ODIs:
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam Ul Haq, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Saud Shakeel, Naseem Shah, Agha Salman, Shaheen Afridi, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir