Pakistan leave out Rehman, Jamshed for Sri Lanka Twenty20s
Left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and batsman Nasir Jamshed have been left out of Pakistan's squad for the Twenty20s against Sri Lanka in the UAE later this month. Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, who was not picked for the recently-concluded home and away limited-overs games against South Africa due to a finger injury, has been named in the 14-man squad, which will also play a one-off T20 against Afghanistan in the lead-up to the Sri Lanka series.
Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail, who has been on the fringes of the national team but has not played in it since August, makes a comeback. Uncapped Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited opener Sharjeel Khan also earns a call-up.
The squad is largely comprised of young players, with the exception of Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and captain Mohammad Hafeez. The selectors have persisted with the newcomers, with batsman Sohaib Maqsood and bowlers Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali retaining their places.
Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan has missed out once again due to his brittle body; he sustained an injury during the final match of the series against South Africa in the UAE earlier this month and needs a four-week rest period. He is expected to return for the Sri Lanka Tests.
Veteran allrounders Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik, who were ruled out of the South Africa games with injury, have not been named. Malik has recovered from his injury and is presently featuring in the Faysal Bank T-20 Cup for in his departmental team, Pakistan International Airlines.
Offspinner Ajmal will not play the T20 against Afghanistan on December 8, but will join the team ahead of the two matches against Sri Lanka, scheduled for December 11 and 13.
Rehman played only one of the four T20s against South Africa in November, and was taken for 18 runs in his solitary over. Jamshed played three matches, but didn't touch 20 in any of them and also failed to score at over a run a ball.
Sharjeel, 24, hails from Hyderabad and has earned a name for himself with his T20 blitzes. In the format, he has scored 688 runs - at a strike rate of 134.11 - and has a century to his name. He scored 72 to set up ZTBL's victory in their opening game of the Faysal Bank T-20 Cup last week, and has hit two cameos in successful chases since. He has also been in decent touch in the first-class competition, with three fifties in his previous three matches. He averages 51.44 after 30 List A matches.