Saud Shakeel to lead Pakistan A squad on Sri Lanka tour

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 Saud Shakeel (Image: ICC)
Saud Shakeel (Image: ICC)

Lahore [Pakistan], October 2 (ANI): Left-handed top-order batter Saud Shakeel will captain future Pakistan hopefuls on the tour of Sri Lanka, which will comprise two four-day fixtures and three 50-over matches in Kandy and Colombo from October 28 to November 14.

Saud played in three ODIs against England earlier this summer, while other internationals named in the 19-player squad include Abdullah Shafique (T20I), Arshad Iqbal (T20I), Haider Ali (ODI, T20I), Naseem Shah (Test), Usman Salahuddin (Test and ODI) and Zahid Mahmood (T20I).

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said to maintain consistency in selection, the selectors have also retained players who have recently been part of the national side but have been unable to break into the playing line-up. These include Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha and Mohammad Haris.

"The objective and purpose of such tours is to reward, encourage, motivate and prepare high-performing cricketers for future challenges, while also developing and strengthening our bench-strength," said chief selector Muhammad Wasim in a statement.

"The average age of this squad is under 22 and includes players who have either been part of the national squads or are knocking at the doors of international cricket. The Sri Lanka tour will help these talented cricketers to further hone and polish their skills so that they are ready to perform at the international level," he added.

With an eye on next year's ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2022 in the West Indies, the selectors have included in the squad Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's teenage wicketkeeper Salman Khan and top-order batter Qasim Akram of Central Punjab.

Pakistan Shaheens squad: Saud Shakeel (captain) (Sindh) (both formats), Haider Ali (vice-captain) (Northern) (both formats), Abbas Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (50-over), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab) (both formats),Abrar Ahmed (Sindh) (both formats), Ahmed Safi Abdullah (Central Punjab) (four-day), Akif Javed (Balochistan) (50-over), Arshad Iqbal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (both formats), Irfanullah Shah (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (both formats), Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (both formats), Khurram Shahzad (Balochistan) (both formats), Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (both formats), Naseem Shah (Southern Punjab) (both formats), Omair Bin Yousuf (Sindh) (four-day), Qasim Akram (Central Punjab) (both formats), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab) (both formats), Salman Khan (wicketkeeper) (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (both formats), Usman Salahuddin (Southern Punjab) (four-day), Zahid Mahmood (Sindh) (both formats) (ANI)

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