Pakistan on Saturday left out veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez for next week’s series start against Sri Lanka, who are touring the country for the first time since they were targeted in a terror attack. Hafeez, 38, was part of Pakistan’s fifth-placed World Cup squad but has been kept off due to his commitments in the Caribbean Premier League, said head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq.
“He is not out of our plans,” added Misbah. “Whoever is effective for the team will be included in the future.”
Fellow World Cup team members Hasan Ali and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi have also been left out due to poor fitness. Sarfaraz Ahmed will lead the team in both the one-day and T20 matches. Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed was recalled to the one-day squad after a four year absence.
Cricket tours were suspended in Pakistan for six years after a 2009 assault on the Sri Lankan team bus that killed half a dozen police officers and wounded six members of the visiting team. Sri Lanka agreed to the current tour after a favourable security assessment.
Three One-Day Internationals (ODI) will be played in Karachi, the first on September 27. Another three T20 International (T20I) matches will be played in Lahore in early October.