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Pakistan

No Shafiq, Malik or Amir in Pakistan squad for New Zealand tour

Pakistan news

Babar Azam will lead a 35-man Pakistan squad, featuring five uncapped players, on their Test and T20I tour of New Zealand, which begins in December.

The five uncapped players in Pakistan's extended squad are Zeeshan Malik, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt, Rohail Nazir and Amad Butt.

Meanwhile, a few of the more experienced players such as Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik and Asad Shafiq have been left out of the Babar Azam-led unit.

On Pakistan's previous Test assignment, Shafiq endured a rough patch, scoring just 67 runs from five innings at 13.40 in England. Those performances may have led to the omission of the 34-year-old batsman. Both Malik and Amir had been overlooked for the recently concluded white-ball series against Zimbabwe as well.

"The matches in New Zealand are critical for us as we aim to improve our T20I rankings and also gain valuable points in the ICC World Test Championship. In this background and taking into consideration recent player performances, we have selected the best available players," head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said in a PCB statement.

"I want to congratulate uncapped Amad Butt, Danish Aziz, Imran Butt and Rohail Nazir who have impressed the selectors with their form, technique, temperament and ability to secure places in the 35-player pool.

"Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir are not part of the white-ball matches as for this tour we have opted to invest, develop and focus on the promising and emerging players who are likely to be available to Pakistan for all formats. We have kept faith in Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz purely on the basis of their outstanding and consistent performances as well as the value they bring to the T20I squad."

The teams will play three T20Is between 18-22 December, while the two ICC World Test Championship matches will get underway with the Boxing Day contest followed by the final game of the tour starting on 3 January.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Zeeshan Malik, Azhar Ali, Danish Aziz, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Haris Sohail, Hussain Talat, Imran Butt, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan, Rohail Nazir, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Usman Qadir, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Amad Butt, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Musa Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz

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