Star fast bowler Afridi back in Pakistan squad for white-ball series against New Zealand


Shaheen Afridi missed Pakistan’s five home Test matches against England and New Zealand since the T20 World Cup in Australia as he was still rehabilitating the injury.

Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi will return to international cricket after four months after he was included Tuesday in Pakistan’s white-ball squad for this month’s home series against New Zealand.

The left-arm paceman helped Lahore Qalandars successfully defend its Pakistan Super League title last month with a rich haul of 19 wickets in the tournament after recovering from a knee injury.

Shaheen, who will turn 23 on Thursday, hurt his knee during the final of Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in November last year.

Subsequently he missed five Tests and three ODIs against England and New Zealand — all at home — but took 19 wickets to lead Lahore Qalandars’ title defence in Pakistan Super League (PSL) last month.

Babar Azam — rested for the three-match T20 series against Afghanistan last month — returns as skipper of both the squads along with Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Rauf.

The five-match Twenty20 series against New Zealand will be played in Lahore (April 14, 15, 17) and Rawalpindi (April 20, 24). The ODIs will be played in Rawalpindi (April 27, 29) and Karachi (May 3, 5, 7).

Three youngsters — pacers Ihsanullah and Zaman Khan, and opener Saim Ayub — have been retained in the T20 squad following good performances in Sharjah. Ihsanullah is also included in the ODI squad.

T20 squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan

ODI squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Ihsanullah, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usama Mir



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