Pakistan’s squad for 2018 Asia Cup announced

The defending ICC Champions Trophy champions Pakistan have named a strong 16-member squad for the upcoming 2018 Asia Cup which will get underway in the United Arab Emirates on September 15. The Pakistani selectors have made no surprise inclusions in the squad led by Sarfaraz Ahmed.

All-rounder Imad Wasim has not been included in the squad in spite of him being named in the preliminary squad that attended a camp and gave the fitness test at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore over the last two days. It is understood that Imad, who was a part of the Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL, has failed to clear the test and hence, he was not included in the Pakistan squad for the tournament.

The selectors have strengthened their fast bowling department which has as many as four left-arm quicks in the form of Mohammed Amir, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Khan Afridi and Usman Khan Shenwari with Hassan Ali being the only right-armer. Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz and Faheem Ashraf will be the all-rounders.

The selectors have recalled opening batsman Shan Massod as the backup for Imam ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman, who have done well as an opening combination. Masood, who made his international debut in 2013, has played 12 Tests but no limited-overs matches for his country. He has been rewarded for his excellent performances in List-A cricket as he has scored three centuries and five half-centuries in last 10 innings.

Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail will be the middle-order batsmen along with skipper Sarfaraz. Former captain Mohammad Hafeez has been dropped from the ODI squad for Asia's premier ODI tournament.

Pakistan are grouped alongside India and a qualifier in the tournament. They will play a group match against a qualifier on September 16 and against India on September 19.

Pakistan squad for Asia Cup: Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari and Shaheen Afridi.

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