Pakistan’s men’s chief selector, Wahab Riaz, has revealed a 17-member squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand, commencing on January 12 in Auckland.
In an interview with a local TV channel, Kamran Akmal, a consultant for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee, emphasized the non-consideration of resting key players like Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, highlighting their vital roles in the team’s success.
He dismissed the idea of resting senior players, stating that Pakistan is going to New Zealand, not Nepal, where such considerations might be feasible.
Akmal stressed the importance of fielding the best players for challenging series like the one against New Zealand. Addressing queries about the newly appointed captain, Shan Masood, Akmal suggested that leadership roles require time to evolve.
He advocated for a six to eight-month period for the assessment of anyone in a leadership or coaching position. Shan Masood, who captained his first Test in Perth, has experience leading in domestic and county cricket, and Akmal expressed confidence that he would continue to improve in his role over time.
The announced squad for the New Zealand series includes Shaheen Afridi as captain, with key players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, and others forming a strong lineup.
The series is set to kick off on January 12 in Auckland, followed by matches in Hamilton, Dunedin, and two in Christchurch on January 19 and 21.
As Pakistan prepares for the challenging tour, the focus remains on maintaining a strong team with key players actively contributing.
The selectors team management, and Akmal collectively stress the importance of having the best players available for such competitive series, dismissing any notions of resting crucial players during the New Zealand tour.