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Junaid Khan disappointed over New Zealand top players missing Pakistan tour

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Former pace bowler Junaid Khan has expressed disappointment over the absence of top New Zealand players in the squad for the tour of Pakistan.

Earlier today, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Pakistan under the leadership of allrounder Michael Bracewell.

New Zealand’s first-choice players Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner and Kane Williamson opted out of the tour due to their commitments in the IPL.

Junaid Khan took to his official X (formerly Twitter) account to voice concern over players missing out on an international series due to a franchise league.

“It’s sad to see leagues are being prioritised over the team that gave them all the respect. 11/12 senior [New Zealand] players are not available for an international series,” he posted.

Notably, Bracewell will lead New Zealand for the first time during the upcoming series against Pakistan.

He last played for New Zealand in March last year before suffering a ruptured right Achilles injury during the T20 Blast in June and then a broken finger.

He made his comeback during the Plunket Shield and claimed career-best bowling figures of 8 for 41 while playing for Wellington against Otago.

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The squad also features uncapped batter Tim Robinson and fast bowler Will O’Rourke, who represented New Zealand in Test and ODI cricket earlier this season.

The Blackcaps squad will reach Pakistan on 14 April and will play three T20Is at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi on 18, 20 and 21 April.

Following that, the action will move to Lahore, where the remaining two T20Is of the series will be played on 25 and 27 April, respectively.

New Zealand T20I squad vs Pakistan

Michael Bracewell (c), Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi

READ: Sri Lanka sweep Bangladesh Test series with crushing win

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