ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has dropped leg-spinner Usman Qadir and hard-hitting batters Asif Ali and Haider Ali for next month’s limited-overs international series against the West Indies.
“Usman, Asif and Haider remain in our plans for the shortest format as we have a series of T20s lined up this year, including the T20 World Cup,” chief selector Mohammad Wasim said in a statement on Monday.
Wasim said the return of vice-captain Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz from injuries resulted in Usman's absence for the ODI series. Both players missed Pakistan’s last ODI series at home against Australia.
Rawalpindi will host the three one-day games, which are part of the Cricket World Cup League, on June 8, 10 and 12.
The 16-member squad will meet for a training camp starting June 1, with Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan joining from their English county teams.
For the first time in more than two years, Pakistan will be playing without the restrictions of a bio-secure bubble that had become part of life for players during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wasim said the lowered restrictions meant additional players could be called into the squad in case the team management required any replacement.
“We have decided to give the best chance to our side to collect maximum points and strengthen our chances of progressing directly for the pinnacle 50-over tournament,” he said of the World Cup. “We have retained the same core of players so they further establish themselves in the format. I hope this bunch will continue the form they gained from the Australia series.”
The selectors have included uncapped wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris in the squad as backup for Mohammad Rizwan, and retained the three openers Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq.
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.