Which players are likely to be added in Pakistan’s squad for Afghanistan T20I series?

Which players are likely to be added in Pakistan's squad for Afghanistan T20I series?
Image: PCB

According to insider sources, the Pakistan cricket team may include new players in their lineup for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. Among the potential new additions are hard-hitter Azam Khan, all-rounder Imad Wasim, and Usama Mir, who is currently tied for fourth place on the list of leading wicket-takers.

However, it’s possible that some of the players who have been playing regularly in the past may be rested for this series. Imad and Azam are currently the second and third highest scorers, respectively, in the ongoing Pakistan Super League season eight.

An interim coaching staff will also be appointed for the series, as the contracts for head coach Saqlain Mushtaq and bowling coach Shaun Tait expired in February 2023 after the New Zealand series.

In terms of coaching, Mohammad Yousuf’s appointment as batting coach for the Pakistan men’s cricket team is determined on a series-to-series basis under the Ramiz Raja-led administration, but his permanent role is the batting coach for the National High Performance Centre (NHPC) in Lahore.

The Pakistan team is likely to leave for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on March 23 to play the series in Sharjah, which is expected to be completed within a week with the possibility of back-to-back fixtures. The official schedule is set to be announced soon as the discussions between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) are in the final stages.

Originally, both teams were supposed to play a three-match ODI series this year, but the format was changed to T20Is since Pakistan and Afghanistan have already qualified for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. According to PCB Chairman Najam Sethi, the decision was made after a meeting with ACB officials in January, where they agreed to play a series of three T20Is in Sharjah just after the PSL subject to government approval. The revenue from the series will be shared equally between the two teams, and the production will be jointly outsourced.

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PCB approves changes in PSL 8 squads