LAHORE - In-form leg spinner Yasir Shah along with batsman Umar Akmal and paceman Sohail Tanvir called back in the 15-member squad for two Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Wednesday announced the Twenty20 squad when PCB chairman Shaharyar M Khan approved it after the recommendation of the four-member selection committee headed by Haroon Rashid.
All-rounder Shahid Afridi will lead the squad for the two matches to be played in Colombo on July 30 and August 1 while Sarfraz Ahmed will be vice captain. Yasir, 29, took 24 wickets in Pakistan's 2-1 win in the three-Test series, taking him to third position in the official world bowlers' rankings after just ten matches. The leg-spin bowler, who has won praise from Australian legend Shane Warne, then helped Pakistan win the third one-day with figures of 4-29 to give the visitors a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Chief selector Haroon Rasheed said: "Yasir Shah has emerged as a strike bowler who takes wickets, and in T20 cricket a bowler having this ability is a big plus. That is why he has been included." The two T20Is are scheduled to be played on July 30 and August 1 at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Both Umar Akmal and Sohail Tanvir were overlooked for the T20 series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Hard-hitting batsman Nauman Anwar, Mukhtar Ahmed, and all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim retained their places in the team.
"Wahab Riaz is expected to start bowling from July 24, after recovering from hand injury sustained during the Test series against Sri Lanka, under the supervision of NCA coaches and would be included in the squad upon clearance that he is injury free and bowling to their satisfaction," chief selector Haroon Rasheed said. "Otherwise Zia ul Haq - a budding young fast bowler having toured recently with Pakistan ‘A’ would take his place in the team," he said.
"Ziaul Haq has impressed with his pace and control during that tour and also doing well at the domestic circuit, it added. "Selection committee after monitoring the performance of Pakistani players appearing in various T20 leagues in the UK and the West Indies has decided to include Sohail Tanvir in the T20 squad. Team management also recommended for his inclusion keeping in view of his experience of T20 cricket. Talented but temperamental batsman Umar Akmal was also included despite team management complaints about his attitude during the 2015 World Cup, which forced his omission from the one-day squad. Umar featured in both the Twenty20s against Zimbabwe, scoring four and 30.
T20 SQUAD: Shahid Afridi (capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Nauman Anwar, M Hafeez, Mukhtar Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, M Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Sohail Tanvir, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, M Irfan, Wahab Riaz or Ziaul Haq.