Pakistan management are set to leave out Shaheen Afridi for multiple ODIs, with the young quick to be kept fresh for the side’s Asia Cup and T20 World Cup campaigns. Captain Babar Azam fielded a number of questions regarding his side before their trip to the Netherlands, where they will compete for all-important Cricket World Cup Super League points on the road to India 2023.
The skipper admits the side will sit the star left-armer for at least the first two ODIs, prioritising the chase for silverware in continental and global T20 competition. “We’re looking long term at his fitness and health. “We want him to play a game against Netherlands if he’s fit and be ready for the Asia Cup.”
Pakistan’s squads for the Asia Cup and Dutch tour turned heads when fellow quick Hasan Ali was left out, with selectors preferring Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim. Shaheen has been nursing a knee injury, though was included in both squads.
Babar added that Hasan has the chance to regain his form in domestic cricket.
“Our fast-bowling bench strength is excellent. They’ve now got an opportunity to showcase their skills. This is how you expand your pool.
“Yes, he’s (Ali) not in form, but it’s not like he has to prove anything. Domestic cricket is coming up. He’ll play that and make a strong comeback hopefully.