Pakistan recall Iftikhar Ahmed, drop Sarfaraz Ahmed for ODI series against New Zealand

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Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (file image)
Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (file image)

Lahore [Pakistan], September 1 (ANI): Pakistan cricket selectors on Wednesday named a 20-player squad for the three ICC Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs against New Zealand, which will be played in Rawalpindi on September 17, 19, and 21.

Uncapped wicketkeeper Mohammad Haris, fast bowlers Mohammad Wasim and Shahnawaz Dahani, and wrist-spinner Zahid Mahmood have been named in the squad, while middle-order batters Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah have been recalled.

Iftikhar's seventh and last ODI was against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi, while Khushdil's only ODI appearance was also in the tied match against Zimbabwe in Rawalpindi. Players who were part of the ODI series against England in July but have failed to retain their places are Haris Sohail, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, and Sohaib Maqsood.

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim in an official release said: "The series against New Zealand is extremely important for Pakistan as the matches are part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification. While we have tried to put together a formidable and a balanced unit, we have continued to ensure that we give opportunities to high-performing players while looking into the future so that we can develop strong bench strength."

"Shahnawaz Dahani was unfortunate to miss the selection for the England matches as the squad was announced before the start of the remaining 20 PSL 6 matches. Hence, he was a straightforward selection when we sat to discuss and finalise the side for the New Zealand series. We have also given continued run to Mohammad Wasim, who impressed everyone in the T20Is against the West Indies," he added.

Pakistan ODI squad: Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir and Zahid Mahmood. (ANI)

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