Lahore - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Monday gave a maiden call-up to PSL top performers Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 15-member squad for the West Indies Twenty20 Internationals to be played in Karachi next month.

These three youngsters impressed the selectors through their outstanding performances during the third edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which came to end on Sunday in Karachi. Left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi rose to prominence with his performances for Pakistan at the ICC U19 World Cup in New Zealand at the start of the year.

The 17-year-old impressed with his swing and movement as he helped Pakistan reach the semifinals of the competition. Following his U-19 World Cup showing, Shaheen Afridi turned out for the Lahore Qalandars in the PSL and delivered the best spell of the tournament (5-4) in the win against the Multan Sultan in Dubai.

All-rounder Hussain Talat was also one of the best finds of the PSL-3 as he played a vital role in Islamabad United’s march to their second PSL title. The 22-year-old picked up two crucial wickets of Peshawar Zalmi in the finals and has chipped in with notable contributions with both bat and ball over the course of the campaign.

There was also a maiden call-up for hero of the final Asif Ali whose outstanding cameo of an unbeaten 26 (6) got Islamabad over the line. Asif, 26, smashed three sixes in one over to help Islamabad win the final and impressed with his power hitting throughout the PSL. Highest wicket-taker in the PSL, Faheem Ashraf, also kept his place in the national team led by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

Rahat Ali also got a chance in the squad after bowling well in the league. Imad Wasim and Ruman Raees have yet to recover from the injury occurred during the PSL, and, therefore, both were not considered for selection. Usman Khan Shinwari made a comeback in the team after recovering from his injury.

But the PCB ignored in-form opener Kamran Akmal and one of the PSL top bowlers Wahab Riaz. Kamran, 36, missed out despite notching 425 runs in 13 matches of the PSL, including a century and four half-centuries for Peshawar Zalmi. But the chief selector and head coach Mickey Arthur did not include him due to his age and poor fielding. Wahab Riaz was the other top performer of the league, who was also not considered for the national squad.

The PCB national selection committee headed by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq after consultation with captain Sarfraz Ahmed and head coach Mickey Arthur announced the 15-member T20 squad for the three-match series against West Indies. "We have included Talat, Asif and Shaheen in the squad primarily for their performances in the PSL," said Inzamam. "Imad Wasim and Rumman Raees are still recovering from injuries so were not included," he added.

The three-match Twenty20 International series against the West Indies will be played on April 1, 2 and 3 respectively here at the National Stadium, Karachi.


Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Hussain Talat, Faheem Ashraf, M Nawaz, Shahdab Khan, M Amir, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Usman Khan Shinwari, Shaheen Shah Afridi.