Fast bowler Sohail Khan, who last played a T20 international in September 2011, has been recalled to the Pakistan squad for the three-T20I series against World XI, which will be led by Faf du Plessis. Several experienced players who were part of Pakistan’s last T20 series in the Caribbean earlier this year – Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz – were dropped. Instead, allrounders Faheem Ashraf, who was part of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy-winning squad, and Aamer Yamin, and batsman Umar Amin were picked.
Yamin, who last played for Pakistan in 2015, and Amin, whose last appearance for the country came in 2014, returned, thanks to strong domestic performances. Yamin was the leading wicket-taker in the 50-over Pakistan Cup with nine wickets to add to 163 runs in four innings at a strike-rate of 140.51. Amin, meanwhile, was the top-scorer for Punjab with 296 runs in three innings at an average of 98.66 and strike-rate of 106.47. Ashraf, who had been fast-tracked into the Pakistan squad for the Champions Trophy, finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the Pakistan Cup behind Yamin with eight wickets.
“The team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions and the recent performances of some players in the domestic and international tours,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said. “The squad (sic) consists of a combination of the fine blend of youth and senior players. Faheem Ashraf, Ruman Raees, and Aamer Yamin make a place in the squad due to their splendid performance in the domestic tournaments.”
Sohail, who was the joint-third highest wicket-taker in the Pakistan Cup, Ruman Raees, Hasan Ali and Usman Khan, who last played international cricket in 2013, are part of a bowling group led by Mohammad Amir, who had been rested for the T20 leg of the West Indies tour. Sohail Tanvir, who was not given a central contract in July, was not part of the squad. Legspinner Shadab Khan will be assisted by left-arm spinners Mohammad Nawaz, who has served out his two-month ban for failing to report an approach in the PSL 2017, and Imad Wasim.
The three-T20 series, which has international status, begins on September 12, with the next two matches to be played on September 13 and 15. All three games will be held in Lahore. A one-off T20 against Sri Lanka in Lahore is in the works, followed by a three-T20 series against West Indies in November.