Allrounder Shoaib Malik and fast bowler Mohammad Sami have been recalled to the Pakistan team for the two Twenty20 internationals against Zimbabwe in Lahore. Uncapped 19-year-old opener Nauman Anwar and former under-19 captain Imad Wasim were given call-ups.
Anwar Ali, Bilawal Bhatti and Hammad Azam also returned to the squad, while Saad Nasim, Imran Khan and Haris Sohail were dropped from the Pakistan T20 squad that played against Bangladesh in Mirpur last month. Saeed Ajmal, who was ineffective with his new bowling action, was also dropped along with Sohail Tanvir. Both Sohaib Maqsood and Sohail Khan were sidelined over fitness issues, and Junaid Khan was the other notable exclusion for the Zimbabwe series.
Sami's call-up came as a surprise considering he has not played for Pakistan since June 2012, when they toured Sri Lanka. He took six wickets in three matches in the Super8 T20 competition in Faisalabad last week.
Anwar, who entered the domestic circuit last year, has only played a handful of first-class matches but caught the attention of the selectors after an extraordinary show in the recently concluded Super8 tournament in Faisalabad, scoring 270 runs at a strike-rate of 162.65 for Sialkot Stallions. Wasim, who led the Pakistan Under-19 World Cup team in 2007, was selected on the basis of his all-round performance for Pakistan A in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka A.
The selectors retained Ahmed Shehzad, who was not part of the ODI series in Bangladesh but played the T20. He scored 0, 58*, 8 and 8 in four innings in the Super8 tournament. Umar Akmal, who was also not part of the Pakistan side against Bangladesh, returned to the squad after putting up scores of 35, 1, 95*and 85*.
Pakistan will play two T20Is and three ODIs against Zimbabwe - the first international cricket to be played in the country since March 2009. Only six players - Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Sami - in this T20 squad have played an international match in Pakistan.
Squad: Shahid Afridi (capt), Sarfraz Ahmed (vc), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Mukhtar Ahmed, Nauman Anwar, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Mohammad Rizwan, Anwar Ali, Hammad Azam, Imad Wasim, Bilawal Bhatti, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami