Pakistan recall Ahmed Shehzad but ignore Kamran Akmal for T20Is against New Zealand

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Ahmed Shehzad will have another chance to shine.

Pakistan have recalled Ahmed Shehzad for their three-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand later this month, but selectors ignored Kamran Akmal despite his recent form in domestic matches.

The 26-year-old Shehzad was dropped for the third and final Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in Lahore late last November, but his recent form and youth helped him regain his place.

But Kamran, 35, was not so lucky, despite being the highest run scorer in National Twenty20 with 432 runs last November. He smashed a double century in a domestic One-Day Cup match last week.

All-rounder Imad Wasim, who missed the current one-day international (ODI) series against New Zealand, will also miss the T20s due to a knee injury, said chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.

“Wasim has yet to recover from his knee injury, and was told to continue his rehabilitation at the academy in Lahore. Sohaib Maqsood was not considered for selection due to a back injury and will undergo rehabilitation,” said Inzamam.

Misses out: Kamran Akmal.

Pakistan are currently two down in the five-match ODI series in New Zealand, with the third match in Dunedin on Saturday.

Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the T20 side. The first match is in Wellington on January 22, followed by Auckland on January 25 and Mount Maunganui on January 28.

SQUAD

Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Harris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Rumman Raees, Umar Amin.

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Pakistan's Shadab Khan impresses for Brisbane Heat again

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Shadab picked up 2-27 in his final BBL outing.

Pakistan youngster Shadab Khan impressed once again in his third Big Bash League (BBL) outing for the Brisbane Heat to finish his stint on a high.

The 19-year-old spin prodigy became the youngest overseas player to participate in the BBL when he signed for the Brisbane based side.

The young leg-spinner picked up 2-27 off his four overs as the Heat claimed their second win of the season after beating Sydney Thunder by six wickets at the Gabba.

He accounted for the big wickets of England’s Alex Hales and Thunder’s skipper Shane Watson. The former was deceived by a wrong one to be clean-bowled while the latter was caught by Joe Burns after attempting a lofted drive.

Shadab had been signed on for the first three matches by the Brendon McCullum led side with fellow Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah replacing him for the remainder of the season.

The teenager has chipped in with good performances in all of his three outings for the Heat picking up two wickets each in every game. He had earlier picked up the man-of-the-match in Heat’s win over Melbourne Renegades where he returned with figures of 2-17.

The Pakistan man had picked up 2-41 in a slightly expensive spell in the opening match defeat to the Melbourne Stars.

Shadab will now link up with the Pakistan squad in New Zealand for the five-match ODI series beginning on January 6.

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Pakistan recall Azhar Ali for ODI series against New Zealand

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Pakistan have recalled experienced opener Azhar Ali for their one-day international series in New Zealand next month, but left batsman Ahmed Shehzad and allrounder Imad Wasim out of the squad.

Former captain Ali’s return meant there was no place in the 15-member squad for Shehzad, who failed to impress against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates last month.

Pakistan won all five ODIs against Sri Lanka, but go into the five-match New Zealand series having lost eight of their last 11 ODI series.

“We kept the conditions in New Zealand in mind and the recent performances of some players in the domestic tournament,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said after the squad announcement on Saturday.

Ali was rested for the Sri Lanka series, but is now fully fit after recovering from a knee problem, Haq added.

Fast bowler Junaid Khan has been ruled out of the New Zealand ODIs because of a fracture in his right foot, and Wasim failed a fitness test after reporting discomfort in his knee.

Fast bowler Aamer Yamin replaces Junaid in the squad.

Sarfraz Ahmed continues as captain, having led Pakistan to victory in the Champions Trophy in June.

Pakistan’s first ODI against New Zealand is in Wellington on January 6. The two sides will also play three Twenty20s, for which Pakistan will make a separate squad announcement.

PAKISTAN SQUAD

Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Aamer Yamin, Rumman Raees.

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