Despite the fact that the 29-year-old cricketer’s most recent appearance in a one-day international was back in July 2021 during a match in England, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq expressed that Faheem Ashraf’s consistent efforts on the field have merited his inclusion in the team once again.
“We have picked 18 players for the Afghanistan series and one less for the Asia Cup and Ashraf was the best pace-bowling allrounder available to us,” Inzamam said in Lahore.
Babar Azam will lead the squad throughout.
The ODI series against Afghanistan will be played on August 22, 24 and 26 in Sri Lanka, while the Asia Cup is scheduled from August 30 to September 17.
Pakistan will host only four matches in the Asia Cup after India refused to send its team across the border, with the remaining nine in Sri Lanka.
Middle-order batter Saud Shakeel is also recalled after a year-long gap but will only be part of the Afghanistan series.
Former vice-captain Shan Masood was unlucky to miss out, while pacer Ihsanullah was also not selected due to injury.
Inzamam, appointed chief selector on Monday, said he hoped players will get a proper tune-up for the World Cup in India from October 5 to November 19.
“We have selected players with the focus also on the World Cup and hope that the team brings laurels to the country,” he said.
Pakistan’s squad for Afghanistan series and Asia Cup: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Saud Shakeel (only for Afghanistan series)
(With AFP Inputs)