Pakistan have announced a new-look T20I side for the series against Afghanistan starting March 24 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, with all-arounder Shadab Khan at the helm.
"Babar, Fakhar, Haris, Rizwan and Shaheen have been provided breaks from the short Sharjah trip to allow them to switch off from competitive cricket so that they can complete their rehabilitations, regroup, recompose and recharge their batteries and be fully fit for the challenges in the tough and challenging 2023-24 season," said Haroon Rashid, Chairman of the selection committee said in the press release.
"With one eye on the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 and the other on ensuring the careers of their elite cricketers are extended by strategically managing their workloads, the Pakistan cricket selectors today named a new-look and highly-talented 15-player squad," the release further stated.
The squad consists of four uncapped players in Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir and Zaman Khan who have replaced Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hasnain and Khushdil Shah from their last series.
The team also included Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf and Imad Wasim who have been recalled after their impressive performances in the recent past.
"I want to congratulate Shadab Khan on his appointment as the Pakistan team captain for the series against Afghanistan. Shadab Khan has been the Pakistan vice-captain in white-ball cricket for the past couple of years, and it is logical that he takes over the side in the absence of Babar Azam for the short three-match T20I tour of Sharjah," Najam Sethi, the chairman of PCB Management Committee said.
Pakistan have also appointed Mohammad Yousuf as their interim head and batting coach for the series.
Shadab Khan (Captain), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayab Tahir, Zaman Khan