Pakistan Tuesday announced its initial 25-member squad for the upcoming tours of Ireland and England, with fast bowler Wahab Riaz out of favour and key spinner Yasir Shah ruled out with injury.
The probable team members will join a training camp in Lahore from April 18-22 before leaving for the UK a day later to acclimatise ahead of what is expected to be a tough series.
Pakistan will play Ireland in the only Test in Dublin from May 11-15 – Ireland’s first since being granted Test status last year – before playing two Tests against England, starting at Lord’s from May 24 with the second at Leeds from June 1.
Express pace bowler Wahab Riaz, believed to be out of favour with the team management, was left off the list despite taking 40 wickets in the 11 Tests he has played since the Lord’s Test against England in July 2016.
Pakistan also suffered a setback on Monday when leg-spinner Yasir Shah was ruled out of both tours with a hip stress fracture.
Shah has taken 89 wickets in 16 Tests since July 2016, and was instrumental in Pakistan’s 2-2 series draw against England two years ago.
Middle order batsman Fawad Alam was included in the probable list after showing good form in domestic season, having last played a Test in 2009.
Line-up: Sarfraz Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Salahuddin, Fawad Alam, Saad Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Asghar, Shadab Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Musa Khan
The cricketing board also released the dates of the five-match ODI series between Zimbabwe and Pakistan that will follow the T20I tri-series.
The T20I series will get underway on July 1 with the finals being held on July 8. Each of the three teams will play the others twice in a round-robin format before the best two sides advance to the summit showdown.
“Following months of negotiations, we are pleased to confirm we will be hosting a T20I triangular series involving Australia and Pakistan, followed by an ODI series against Pakistan,” Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director Faisal Hasnain said.
Zimbabwe will host Australia and Pakistan in a T20I triangular series scheduled for July, with Pakistan staying behind for a five-match ODI series #TriSeries #ODI #ZIMvAUSvPAK @CricketAus @TheRealPCB @ICC
— Zimbabwe Cricket (@ZimCricketv) April 10, 2018
“Playing two of the game’s biggest teams will provide us with a very welcome litmus test as we forge ahead with our plans to develop a stronger Zimbabwe side capable of consistently competing and winning against the best,” he added.
The ODI series between the hosts and Pakistan will begin five days after the tri-series on July 13 with the final match taking place on July 22.
SCHEDULE FOR T20I TRI-SERIES
July 1, Sunday: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
July 2, Monday: Pakistan vs Australia
July 3, Tuesday: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 4, Wednesday: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
July 5, Thursday: Pakistan vs Australia
July 6, Friday: Australia vs Zimbabwe
July 8, Sunday: Final
SCHEDULE FOR ZIMBABWE-PAKISTAN ODI SERIES
July 13, Friday: First ODI
July 16, Monday: Second ODI
July 18, Wednesday: Third ODI
July 20, Friday: Fourth ODI
July 22, Sunday: Fifth ODI
Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) on Monday reinstated the national team coaching staff only to terminate their contracts later in the day.
The cricketing board had demanded that the entire coaching staff step down after the loss or they would all risk being dismissed through a letter from ZC managing director Faisal Hasnain.
However, head-coach Heath Streak and his fellow coaches had initially defied the orders, claiming unfair treatment at the hands of the board.
Zimbabwe publication NewsDay has reported that Streak and batting coach Lance Klusner were served with the letters of their contract termination through their lawyers on Monday.
According to the report, the coaches’ representatives were initially informed that the ultimatum to dismiss their clients had been withdrawn by the board.
“After extensive consultations with our client on the position of the law, our client has resolved to unreservedly retract all and any communication leading to the ultimatum to resign and the subsequent dismissals against your clients.
“For the avoidance of doubt Zimbabwe Cricket has withdrawn the decision to summarily dismiss your clients,” part of the letter sent by ZC’s legal representatives to the coaches’ lawyers read.
But, on Monday afternoon, the coaches’ representatives were sent another letter, this time for the termination of their clients’ contracts with ZC.
“The process of recruiting new coaches has begun and I can safely say that we will have new coaches for the national team by end of April.” ZC board chairman Tavenga Mukuhlani said.