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Usman, Amir, Imad named in Pakistan’ squad for New Zealand series

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LAHORE: Uncapped batter Usman Khan as well as returning Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim are selected in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand on Tuesday.

The national selection committee members Abdul Razzaq, Asad Shafiq, Bilal Afzal, Mohammad Yousuf and Wahab Riaz announced the 17-member Pakistan squad for the five-match T20I series.

Amir and Wasim recently came out of international retirement and made themselves available for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 and the series leading up to the mega-event.

Amir last played for Pakistan in 2020, while Wasim played during New Zealand’s last tour of Pakistan in 2023.

Usman Khan, who played the previous two editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as an overseas player from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), impressed the selection committee with his consistent batting exploits.

He was then approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to consider representing his homeland and was subsequently selected for the fitness camp held in Kakul.

The top-order batter scored 430 runs in seven outings during PSL 9 last month, including two centuries.

Uncapped right-handed batter Irfan Khan Niazi also earned his maiden call-up on the back of his impressive performance in the PSL, scoring 171 runs in eight outings at a brilliant strike rate of 140.16.

Pace bowler Naseem Shah, who had been out of action since the Asia Cup in 2019, made his comeback in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

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Subsequently, he found his way back into the national team for the series against New Zealand.

Allrounder Mohammad Nawaz was dropped due to his bad form, while Haris Rauf is out with a shoulder injury, suffered during the PSL 9 game between Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings.

Notably, this will be Babar Azam’s first assignment after his reinstatement as the white-ball captain of Pakistan.

New Zealand are slated to reach Pakistan on April 14 for the crucial series, leading to the ICC Men’s T20I World Cup.

Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will host the first three T20Is between Pakistan and New Zealand on 18, 20 and 21 April.

The two sides will then travel to Lahore to lock horns in the remaining two T20Is on 25 and 27 April, respectively.

Pakistan squad for T20I series against New Zealand

Babar Azam (c), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Usman Khan, Zaman Khan, Usama Mir

Non-travelling reserve: Sahibzada Farhan, Haseebullah Khan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Mohammad Ali, Salman Ali Agha

READ: Cristiano Ronaldo receives red card amidst Al-Nassr’s loss against Al-Hilal

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