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Pakistan recalls Sharjeel Khan for Twenty20 series in Africa

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The Associated Press
The Associated Press

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has recalled opening batsman Sharjeel Khan after more than four years for next month’s Twenty20 international series in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The left-handed Sharjeel has been out of international cricket are serving a 2-1/2-year ban for his involvement in a Pakistan Super League spot-fixing scandal in 2017.

He made his way back into the national team after scoring a century in this year’s PSL and was also the third-highest scorer in the league, which was suspended due to coronavirus last week.

There were question marks on Sharjeel’s fitness, but chief selector Mohammad Wasim said Friday it was not the only criteria while selecting a player for international matches.

“At the end of the day, a player has to play cricket,” he said during a press conference in Lahore. “I know his fitness is not there where we want him to be, but we believe Sharjeel can win big matches for us.”

Pakistan will play three one-day internationals and four Twenty20s in South Africa, followed by three T20s and two test matches in Zimbabwe.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah was ruled out of the test series in Zimbabwe with a left-knee injury, while spinners spinners Sajid Khan, Zahid Mahmood and Nauman Ali were part of the extended 20-player test squad.

Uncapped 19-year-old fast bowler Shahnawaz Dhani was a surprise inclusion in the test squad after impressing in the PSL.

“We are lacking fast bowlers in red ball cricket and we believe Dhani is our future in test cricket,” Wasim said. “We will surely also consider him for white-ball cricket in future too.”

Test squad: Babar Azam (captain), Imran Butt, Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Tabish Khan, Hasan Ali, Shahnawaz Dhani, Nauman Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan.

ODI squad: Babar Azam (captain), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali.

T20 squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.

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